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January 30–February 8: The Tet Offensive


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

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC History of the March 31st Speech, Vol. 2, Tabs A–Z and AA–AA. Secret; Eyes Only. Notations on the telegram indicate that Wheeler forwarded it to Rusk, Helms, and McCafferty of the White House staff.


35. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. The meeting was held in the White House. Those attending the meeting were the President, the Vice President, McCormack, Albert, Boggs, Mansfield, Long, Fulbright, Sparkman, Byrd, Representative Thomas Morgan, Rusk, McNamara, Wheeler, Secretary of the Air Force Harold Brown, O'Brien, Rostow, Sanders, Califano, Manatos, and Tom Johnson. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


36. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret.


38. Telegram From the Commander in Chief, Pacific Forces (Sharp) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC History of the March 31st Speech, Vol. 2, Tabs A–Z and AA–ZZ. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Wheeler forwarded the telegram to the other JCS members and to Rusk, Helms, and Rostow at 1253Z. It was received in the White House at 2:02 p.m.


39. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. The meeting was held in the White House. Those attending the meeting were the President, Rusk, McNamara, Clifford, Helms, Wheeler, Taylor, Rostow, Christian, Tom Johnson, Senators John Stennis, Margaret Chase Smith, Carl Hayden, and Milton Young, and Representatives George Mahon, Frank Bow, and William Bates. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


40. Memorandum From the Special Assistant for Vietnamese Affairs, Central Intelligence Agency (Carver) to the President's Special Assistant (Rostow)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt Rostow, Vol. 58. Secret; Sensitive. Copies were sent to Rusk, McNamara, and Wheeler. In an attached covering note to the President, January 31, 4:45 p.m., Rostow wrote: “I have marked the key passages in this interesting report from the CIA Station in Saigon. It indicates clearly the task ahead for Thieu and Bunker in regaining confidence after the shock of these attacks.”


41. Intelligence Memorandum

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DO Files, IMSC 01909/68. Top Secret; [codeword not declassified]. A note on the first page reads: “This memorandum was produced solely by CIA. It was prepared by the Office of Current Intelligence and coordinated with the Special Assistant for Vietnamese Affairs.”


42. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to Secretary of State Rusk

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC History of the March 31st Speech, Vol. 7, Meeting Notes. Confidential.


43. Telegram From the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Westmoreland) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler)

Source: Johnson Library, William C. Westmoreland Papers, #29 History File, 1–29 Feb 68 [1]. Secret; Eyes Only. Repeated to Admiral Sharp and Ambassador Bunker.


44. Memorandum Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (Helms) Files, Job 80–M01044A, 282. SHOCK. Secret. In the February 2 covering memorandum transmitting this memorandum to Katzenbach, Nitze, Wheeler, and Rostow, Helms wrote: “A number of officers of this Agency who have been concerned over the years with Vietnam have put together the attached memorandum suggesting a possible course of action for the United States at this time. I pass it to you for your consideration in light of some other factors bearing on the problem.”


45. 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; Exdis. Repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD.


46. Letter From President Johnson to the Ambassador to Vietnam (Bunker)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 1 E (2), 1/68–2/68, Post-Inaugural Political Activity. No classification marking. The President underlined the words in the letter printed in italics and wrote at the top of the page: “Personal Attention Please.” In an attached memorandum to the President, February 1, Charles Zwick, Director of the Bureau of the Budget, advised sending the letter but withholding its public release; the President indicated his concurrence on the memorandum. (Ibid.)


47. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Confidential. The meeting was held at the White House. According to a covering memorandum from Johnson to the President, February 3, the attending correspondents and the press organizations which they represented were: Max Frankel, The New York Times; Charles Bailey, Cowles Publications; Richard Saltonstall, Time Magazine; Chalmers Roberts, Newsweek; Frank Reynolds, ABC; Dan Rather, CBS; Ray Scherer, Washington Star; Sid David, Westinghouse Broadcasting; Jack Sutherland, U.S. News and World Report; and Forrest Boyd, Mutual Broadcasting. Rusk, Clifford, Taylor, Rostow, and Tom Johnson also joined the meeting. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


48. Intelligence Note From the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Hughes) to Secretary of State Rusk

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; No Foreign Dissem.


49. Memorandum From William J. Jorden of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant (Rostow)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 1 EE (1), 2/2–20/68, Post-Tet Political Activity. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. A notation on the memorandum indicates that Rostow saw it.


50. Telegram From the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Westmoreland) to the Commander in Chief, Pacific Forces (Sharp)

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Exdis; Eyes Only. Repeated to Wheeler and Bunker. At 1810Z Wheeler forwarded the telegram to the JCS as well as to Rusk, Rostow, and Helms.


51. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 2 A (2), I Corps and DMZ, 2/68 [2 of 2]. Top Secret.


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

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 15 VIET S. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by John Burke (EA/VN), cleared by Lannon Walker (S/S) and Katzenbach, and approved by Habib.


53. 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 9:02 a.m. This telegram is printed in full in Pike, ed., The Bunker Papers, Vol. 2, pp. 316–326.


54. Memorandum From Robert N. Ginsburgh of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant (Rostow)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 2 A (2), I Corps and DMZ, 2/68 [2 of 2]. Secret.


55. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC History of the March 31st Speech. No classification marking. The notation “ps” on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.


56. Intelligence Note From the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Hughes) to Secretary of State Rusk

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; No Foreign Dissem.


57. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC History of the March 31st Speech, Tabs A–Z and AA–ZZ. No classification marking.


58. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. The meeting ran from 10:31 to 11:55 a.m. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


59. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. The meeting lasted from 1:14 to 2:55 p.m. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


60. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. No classification marking. The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room. Those attending were the President, the Vice President, Rusk, Katzenbach, McNamara, Fowler, Helms, Wheeler, Marks, Gaud, Office of Emergency Planning Director Price Daniel, Nitze, Clifford, Rostow, Christian, Tom Johnson, Bromley Smith, and Edward Hamilton. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) Summary notes of this meeting by Smith are ibid., National Security File, NSC Meetings, Vol. 5, Tab 63.


61. Letter From the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps (Walt) to the President's Special Assistant (Rostow)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 2 A (2) [2 of 2], I Cor and DMZ, 2/68. Secret.