78. Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and Secretary of Defense McNamara1

President: Yes?

McNamara: Mr. President, Uly Sharp just called and said the first strike was over the target at 12:10. He had some planes that were saddled up in fact and he just sent them off. I thought this was about what would happen. I think we should go with the announcement. We should have some kind of thing.

President: Well, what’re you going to say now?

McNamara: Let’s check on it right here. “Combat operations against military targets in North Vietnam have now been resumed. The suspension of these operations, initiated at the beginning of Tet, was continued beyond the end of Tet for a short additional time in order to avoid any possibility that earlier resumption would be misconstrued in relation to Mr. Kosygin’s visit to London.”

President: All right, now, let me hold a minute. I told Walt to tell the British in his conversation with them they’d have a few more hours. Let me see if I could top that.

McNamara: Sure.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of Telephone Conversation Between Johnson and McNamara, February 13, 1967, 12:28 p.m., Tape F67.06, Side A, PNO 3. No classification marking. This transcript was prepared in the Office of the Historian specifically for this volume.