205. Extract of a Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1

Bundy: The other one you need to know about is in the Congo where there’s shakiness today in Leopoldville. We’ve had a rather panicky request from the Ambassador to authorize a flyover of jets from the aircraft carrier Enterprise to try to scare off rebels. We are not disposed to authorize that and would prefer not to have any U.S. military hand showing there at all and we’ll go back to him in that sense unless, against all my expectations, you want to have another aircraft carrier in action in another continent this weekend.

Johnson: No.

Bundy: Finally we’ve got to go into—

Johnson: Why does he think—

Bundy: Well, he thinks a show of force may strengthen Tshombe’s hand but that seems to us the least desirable show of force. We’re going to have a couple of cargo planes fly in there landing things and get out some black propaganda about how strong he is, and wait for Harriman to get back here tomorrow morning and then go on with the plan that he and Spaak have put together which, if we have time enough, makes pretty good sense.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of Telephone Conversation between President Johnson and McGeorge Bundy, August 8, 1964, 12:18 p.m., Tape WH 6408.12, F64.01, Side A, PNO 2. Secret. This transcript was prepared in the Office of the Historian specifically for this volume.