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January 1–29: The Continuing Search for Peace and Preparations for the Enemy's Winter-Spring Offensive


2. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Goldberg and approved in S/S on January 6.


3. Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and Secretary of Defense McNamara

Source: Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of Telephone Conversation Between Johnson and McNamara, January 3, 1968, 2:55 p.m., Tape F68.01, Side A, PNO 2. No classification marking. This transcript was prepared specifically for this volume in the Office of the Historian. Johnson called McNamara from his ranch in Texas, where he remained until January 13. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


4. Telegram From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson in Texas

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 3J-Bombing Mistakes. Secret; Sensitive; Literally Eyes Only. This telegram was received at the LBJ Ranch Communications Center at 1:05 a.m. on January 4. The notation “ps” on the telegram indicates that the President saw it. The President stayed at the Ranch from December 26, 1967, through January 13, 1968.


5. Record of Meeting

Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Harriman Papers, Special Files, Public Service, Kennedy-Johnson, Subject Files, M-Man. Secret; Nodis; Packers. Typed at the top of the page is the notation: “Dean—At Walt's request I prepared this memo to go to the Ranch. It's inadequate but best I could do briefly on four hours talk. Ben has sent it over to Walt. Averell.” In telegram CAP 80115 to the President, January 5, Rostow suggested Vance, Clifford, Bundy, Taylor, or Lodge as the negotiator if Packers was successful in producing a halt and subsequent talks. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, PACKERS (II) continued)


7. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Leonhart) to the President's Special Assistant (Rostow)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 6G(1)a 12/67–1/68, Talks with Hanoi. Secret. A notation on the memorandum indicates that Rostow saw it.


8. Telegram From the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson in Texas

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, PACKERS (II) Continued. Top Secret; Nodis; Packers. Received at 0408Z at the LBJ Ranch.


9. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET/PACKERS. Secret; Nodis; Packers. Drafted by Davidson and initialed by Harriman. The meeting was held in Rusk's office.


10. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Confidential; Exdis. Drafted by Toon and approved in U on January 15.


11. 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; Immediate; Nodis. This telegram is printed in full in Douglas Pike, ed., The Bunker Papers: Reports to the President from Vietnam, 1967–1973, Vol. 1 (Berkeley, CA: Institute of East Asian Studies), pp. 284–294.


12. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler) to Secretary of Defense McNamara

Source: Washington National Records Center, Department of Defense, OSD Files: FRC 330 73 A 1304, 1968 Files, VIET 385. Top Secret. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates that McNamara saw it on January 15. According to a January 8 memorandum from Carver to Helms, entitled “The Enemy Threat to Khe Sanh, A Speculative Appraisal,” intelligence reports indicated that elements from four NVA divisions had been moved into the area around Khe Sanh in preparation for an attack. The memorandum concluded that the enemy's objectives were, at a minimum, to force abandonment of the base and, at a maximum, “to draw substantial U.S. reinforcements from other areas in South Vietnam and tie them down in the Khe Sanh area.” (Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry Subject Files, Job 80–R01284A, DCI/ER Files, ER Files-Special Material 01 Jan-28 Feb 1968)


14. 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; Immediate; Nodis. Received at 8:01 a.m. and passed to the White House. This telegram is printed in full in Pike, ed., The Bunker Papers, Vol. 2, pp. 295–301.


15. Record of Telephone Conversation Between Henry Kissinger and the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Read)

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET/PENNSYLVANIA. Secret; Nodis; Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania peace effort involved the efforts of Kissinger to conduct direct talks with Bo through two French intermediaries, Raymond Aubrac and Herbert Marcovich. For additional documentation, see Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, vol. V, Documents 306 ff.


16. Memorandum for the Record

Source: Washington National Records Center, Department of Defense, OSD Files: FRC 330 73 A 1304, VIET 092. Top Secret; Sensitive. An attached note from Wheeler to Nitze, January 18, reads: “Paul—Herewith a copy of a Memo for Record by Bill DePuy concerning situation in SVN. I propose to give a copy to each member of the No-Name Committee at our meeting this afternoon. You will note he reports Komer et al. at some variance with the CIA report on the same subject & Amb. Bunker's 35th Weekly Report. Bus.”


17. Memorandum From the President's Special Consultant (Roche) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 6 G (1)a, 12/67–1/68, Talks with Hanoi. Eyes Only. Received at 3:55 p.m. An attached note from Johnson to Rostow, January 18, 6 p.m., reads: “Raise the question with the proper people.” A handwritten notation reads: “done 1/19/68.”


18. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET/PACKERS. Secret; Nodis; Packers. The meeting was held in Harriman's office.


19. Memorandum From the Board of National Estimates, Central Intelligence Agency, to Director of Central Intelligence Helms

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry Subject Files, Job 80–R01580R, Peace Talks. Secret. An attached note from Helms to Rostow, January 22, reads: “Here are three copies of an effort on our part to fulfill your request for an examination of certain hypotheses in connection with Hanoi's intentions. I have sent copies to no one else. If you want further distribution, please advise me.” A second attached note from Smith to Helms, January 18, reads: “This has been revised after consultation with George Carver, Dean Moor, and DD/I. I believe they are now satisfied with it.”


20. Memorandum for Record

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Name File, President Eisenhower [1965–1968] [1 of 2]. Secret. Prepared by General Goodpaster on January 22.


21. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler) to Secretary of Defense McNamara

Source: Washington National Records Center, Department of Defense, OSD Files: FRC 330 73 A 1304, VIET 092.2. Top Secret. A stamped notation on the memorandum reads: “Sec Def has seen.”


22. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Confidential. The meeting was held in the White House. Those present at the meeting were the President; Vice President Humphrey; Senators Mansfield, Russell Long, Robert Byrd, McCormack, and Albert; Representative Hale Boggs; and several White House officials. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


23. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. Those attending the meeting were the President, Rusk, McNamara, Clifford, Rostow, Helms, Wheeler, Christian, and Tom Johnson. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


24. Telegram From President Johnson to Prime Minister Wilson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Head of State Correspondence, United Kingdom, Vol. 7. Secret.


25. 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. Top Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Received at 9:10 a.m. The telegram is printed in full in Pike, ed., The Bunker Papers, Vol. 2, pp. 302–315.


26. Notes of Meeting of the National Security Council

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room of the White House. In addition to those who spoke, those present at the meeting included Humphrey, Rusk, Battle, Sisco, Nitze, Helms, Marks, Vance, Katzenbach, Rostow, Christian, Saunders, Davis, Smith, and Tom Johnson. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


28. 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; Exdis. Repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD.


30. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to President Lyndon Johnson

Source: Department of Defense, Official Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 911/301 (29 Jan 68), IR 4542. Top Secret. An attached note reads: “At the special meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at 1100 hours Monday, 29 January 1968, the Chairman tabled the subject paper as a proposed CM. After making one minor amendment the Joint Chiefs of Staff agreed that the memorandum should be a JCSM and approved it for signature by the Chairman and transmittal to the President.”