Political Development in South Vietnam, May–June


153. Telegram From the Consulate in Hong Kong to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Exdis. Received at 6:38 a.m.


154. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Bundy) to the Under Secretary of State (Katzenbach)

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Bundy Files: Lot 85 D 240, Top Secret WPB Chron, May 1967. Top Secret.


156. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Bundy) to Secretary of State Rusk

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret; Eyes Only. A copy was sent to Katzenbach.


157. Memorandum From McGeorge Bundy to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Walt Rostow, Viet Nam—W.W. Rostow (1 of 2). Personal. Notations on the memorandum indicate that it was received at noon on May 4 and that the President saw it.


158. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Passed to the White House. In a covering memorandum transmitting the telegram to the President, May 3, Rostow wrote: “Herewith Ambassador Bunker’s first report. His orderly, judicious mind, plus the spirit in the last paragraph will, I believe, hearten you.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Nodis Vol. VI) This telegram is printed in full in Douglas Pike, The Bunker Papers: Reports to the President From Vietnam, 1967–1973, pp. 1–7.


159. Telegram From the White House to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Vol. LXX. Top Secret; Literally Eyes Only; Via CAS Channel.


160. Telegram From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler) to the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Westmoreland) and the Commander in Chief, Pacific (Sharp)

Source: Johnson Library, Papers of William C. Westmoreland, History File, 1–31 May 67. Secret.


161. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (McNaughton) to Secretary of Defense McNamara

Source: Johnson Library, Papers of Paul C. Warnke, McNaughton Files, McNTN III Drafts, 1967 (1). Top Secret; Sensitive.


162. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 2EE Primarily McNamara Recommendations. Top Secret. This memorandum was sent later in the day as telegram CAP 67400 to the President, who was at the LBJ Ranch in Texas May 4–8. Rostow sent the memorandum, with the first two sentences removed, to Rusk and members of Katzenbach’s “Non-group” (a group that met on an unofficial basis): Katzenbach, Vance, McNaughton, Bundy, and Helms. The copy sent to Bundy is in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. The covering memorandum for that copy notes that it was to be discussed by the group on May 8. Notes of this meeting have not been found. McNamara and Goldberg also attended this meeting at the request of the President. In telegram 5244 from USUN, May 11, Goldberg offered reasons for his support of McNamara’s proposal, since he believed that the latest escalation in bombing would cause the DRV “to overcome its reluctance to receive outside help and invite direct support from Communist China and sharp increase in sophisticated Sov aid.” (Ibid.)


163. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 14 VIET S. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Received at 10:28 a.m. Rostow sent the telegram “Eyes Only” to the President at the LBJ Ranch as CAP 67407, May 7, where it was received at 3:02 p.m. A notation indicates that the President saw the telegram. Rostow prefaced the body of the cable with the following: “You will be interested in the following Nodis from Saigon which describes the latest on the political front. We will underline again the importance of the military staying together.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, NODIS Vol. VI)


164. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 14 VIET S. Secret; Nodis; Immediate. Drafted and approved by Unger and cleared by Jorden.


165. Letter From the Ambassador to the Soviet Union (Thompson) to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Rostow)

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Official-Informal.


166. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 14 VIET S. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Received at 1:54 a.m.


167. National Security Action Memorandum No. 362

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, National Security Action Memorandums (NSAM), NSAM 362. Confidential.


168. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Walt Rostow, Viet Nam—W.W. Rostow (2 of 2). Top Secret.


169. Memorandum From Secretary of Defense McNamara and the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Vance) to President Johnson

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, McNamara Files: FRC 71 A 3470, Service and JCS Recommendations re Bombing of DRV. Top Secret; Sensitive. Drafted by McNaughton. Rostow sent a copy of this memorandum, his earlier memorandum (Document 168), and Bundy’s memorandum (Document 170) to the President on the evening of May 9. The notation “L” indicates the President saw the memoranda. (Memorandum from Rostow to Johnson, May 9; Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 2 EE Primarily McNamara Recommendations re Strategic Actions) McNaughton drafted an earlier version of this same memorandum on May 5. (Memorandum from McNamara to the President, May 5; ibid., Files of Walt Rostow, Viet Nam—W.W. Rostow)


170. Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Bundy)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 2EE Primarily McNamara Recommendations re Strategic Actions. Top Secret.


171. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Received at 12:37 a.m. and passed to the White House. The notation “L” on the covering note from Rostow transmitting a copy of the telegram to the President on May 11 indicates that he saw it. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, NODIS Vol. VI) This telegram is printed in full in Pike, The Bunker Papers, pp. 8–15.


172. Memorandum From the President’s Special Consultant (Taylor) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Taylor Report on Overseas Operations & Misc. Memos. Secret. In a May 11 covering note to the President, Rostow wrote: “Herewith General Taylor volunteers in his own way views close to those now emerging from your other advisers.” There is an indication on Rostow’s note that the President saw the memorandum.


173. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Vol. LXXI. Top Secret.


174. Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Bundy)

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret.


175. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Bundy) to Secretary of State Rusk

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret.


176. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 2 EE Primarily McNamara Recommendations. Top Secret; Literally Eyes Only. An attached covering note indicates that the President wanted the memorandum placed into his night reading; the notation “L” on the note indicates that the President saw this memorandum.


177. Draft Memorandum From Secretary of Defense McNamara to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 2 EE Primarily McNamara Recommendations. Top Secret. Prepared by McNaughton. A notation indicates that the President saw the memorandum. A typed disclaimer at the top of the first page reads: “first rough draft; data and ’estimates’ here have not been checked.” The Draft Presidential Memorandum (DPM) was a bureaucratic mechanism for circulating ideas and eliciting views and opinions from senior policymakers. Omitted portions of this DPM are printed in The Pentagon Papers, The Senator Gravel Edition, Vol. IV, pp. 477–489.


178. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 14 VIET S. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Received at 9:03 a.m. and passed to the White House, DOD, and CIA at 9:15 a.m. Rostow sent a copy of the telegram to the President, who saw it. On a covering memorandum for that copy, Rostow described the Thieu-Ky rift as “serious.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Vol. LXXI, Memos (A))


180. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Helms to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 3F. Secret; Sensitive. In a memorandum Helms sent to McNamara on June 1, while noting the differences that existed between the two bombing strategy options put forth in the DPM (Document 177) in terms of pilot and aircraft losses and the impact on the Communist bloc, he concluded that neither option would significantly curtail nor deter Hanoi’s aggression against the South and its ability to maintain or increase the level of insurgency. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 200, CIA Proposals for Alternative Programs for Bombing NVN, June 1, 1967) For denunciations of the U.S. Government’s apparent escalation of the war by the DRV on May 21 and by the PRC on May 22, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1967, pp. 936–938.


182. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 14 VIET S. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Received at 8:37 a.m. and passed to the White House, DOD, and CIA at 9:52 a.m.