95. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam1

1050. International and local U.S. press reporting of events in Viet-Nam as well as news commentators and even some public and private statements by U.S. government officials and military personnel are stressing or implying incorrectly the following themes:

That U.S. effort is in support of the Diem regime rather than the people of Viet-Nam.
That we are in partnership in a common effort rather than in support of a GVN effort.
That the situation is rapidly turning into a U.S. war rather than a war controlled and directed by the GVN.
That U.S. military personnel are in combat status on offensive operations rather than in training, logistics, transportation, support and advisory capacity, defending themselves when attacked.
That the U.S. is violating the Geneva Accords rather than our assistance is in response to North Vietnamese aggression. This aggression is what constitutes a violation of the Accords, and our assistance will no longer be necessary if the Communist authorities in North Viet-Nam will stop their campaign to destroy the Republic of Viet-Nam.

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The Secretaryʼs press statement of March 12 transmitted separately to you was designed to set the record straight. It and this message constitute guidance which you should transmit to appropriate U.S. personnel.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/3-162. Confidential. Repeated to CINCPAC for Polad. Drafted by Cottrell; cleared with L,FE/P, P, Heinz (ISA), and Sylvester (DOD); and approved by Harriman.
  2. See Document 94.