258. Editorial Note

At 11:30 a.m. on August 2, the President met at the White House with Secretary Rusk, Under Secretary Ball, Deputy Secretary of Defense Vance, General Wheeler, and intelligence experts to discuss the Tonkin Gulf incident. Johnson Library, Johnson Daily Diary) The meeting lasted approximately 45 minutes and the President wrote that they studied the latest reports and considered a U.S. response. After concluding that a local North Vietnamese shore commander or a shore station had taken the initiative, the participants decided not to retaliate. They did, however, agree to dispatch a protest note to North Vietnam and to order a continuation of the patrol. (Johnson, Vantage [Page 591] Point, page 113) No other record of this meeting has been found. The meeting is described as taking place “c. 10:30” in Rusk’s appointment book.