32. Diary Entry by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Moorer)1

TELECON/IN—from SecDef—Subject: POW Plan

SecDef thought it was impossible for this plan to be carried out.2 He thinks CIA is the only one that has contacts in the area. I said I realize that; however, my point is we are still in the planning stages and trying to get some help from CIA and they are passing judgement on the thing before we have even decided to present it to you. Laird said, don’t you think it is a pretty tough memo from CIA though?3 I said yes, but you saw the message this morning about our last five boys that were captured. My only point is that while we are in the planning stage we are just going ahead of time by letting CIA influence a decision now. SecDef said it was not addressed to him, he had a copy of it and he just wanted Bennett 4 to read it and digest it from an intelligence stand point.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 218, Records of the Chairman, Moorer Diary, July 1970–July 1974. Secret.
  2. Laird was referring to a plan, called Project Diamond, to rescue U.S. prisoners incarcerated in Ha Lo Prison in Hanoi.
  3. In his February 17 memorandum to Rear Admiral Donald B. Whitmire, Assistant Deputy Director for Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency, who had requested intelligence assistance on Project Diamond from the CIA, Carver wrote: “It is certainly true that seemingly impossible escapes from prison have been successfully made, particularly by resourceful and determined men in wartime. The odds against Project Diamond’s success, however, are astronomical.” (Central Intelligence Agency, Files of the Deputy Director for Intelligence, Job 80–R01720R, Box 7, GAC [George A. Carver] Chronology, February 1972)
  4. Lieutenant General Donald V. Bennett, USA, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency.