523. Information Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson 1

Mr. President:

RE: Bob Anderson

After you spoke to me last evening I called Nick Katzenbach. He told me the attached cable2 had been promptly despatched after you spoke to Sec. Rusk—definitely closing out the trip to Cairo.

Re contingency instructions: He said he took full responsibility for their despatch:

  • —the situation in New York justified raising with you again the possibility of Anderson’s seeing Nasser;
  • —the lack of communications to Baghdad, where Anderson was going from Beirut, made it important that the instructions be available in Beirut, should you have agreed the trip would go forward.

Nick still believes the move was correct.

In general, he feels the national interest in doing all that is humanly possible to get a resolution—and a UN negotiator in the field—outweighs the common reluctance to use a private contact with Nasser.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Lebanon. Secret; Sensitive. A handwritten note “PS, 11/13/67” on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.
  2. Telegram 68086 to Beirut, November 12, a copy of which is attached, transmitted a message from Rusk to Anderson stating that after a thorough review of all aspects of the situation, it was decided he should not proceed to Cairo.