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39. Memorandum for the Record1

SUBJECT

  • March 16 Rocket Attack on Saigon

The following directives were issued by the President at 1545, March 15, as a result of the most recent rocket attack on Saigon:

1.
The President ordered the immediate implementation of the Breakfast Plan. (TOT—Tuesday morning, Saigon time; Monday afternoon, Washington time.)2
2.
The Department of State (and Ambassadors Lodge and Bunker) to be notified only after the point of no return in the implementation of the Plan.
3.
Appropriate Government agencies and their field representatives are to be instructed that they will make no comment on the recent rocket attack on Saigon. (The President wishes to personally sign such a directive.)
4.
The President directed the following additional military measures:
a.
Maximum possible aerial reconnaissance over North Vietnam.
b.
Increased Naval activity in international waters adjacent to North Vietnam.

Richard Nixon
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 136, Vietnam Country Files, Vietnam, Vol. 1, Through 3/19/69. Top Secret.
  2. Prior to issuing this directive Kissinger received three telephone calls from President Nixon at 3:35, 3:44, and 3:45 p.m. on March 15, ordering these actions. The language in the first three directives is almost verbatim from the President's brusque orders. The transcript notes of the last telephone call of 3:45 p.m. read: “President said everything that will fly is to get over to North Vietnam. President said there will be no appeal from that either. He will let them know who is boss around here.” (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 368, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)