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

TELECON/IN—From Dr. KissingerSubj: Air Authorities

HAK said the President concurs with Freedom Train to 19 [parallel] but he does not like the way we are using the air forces. He wants to make sure we hit lucrative targets and that we do not stay away from them to hit around 19N. I said Henry that hurts me to think that you have to worry about that. He said the maximum effort will do the most good and we want to get Naval Gun Fire Support up there too. Naturally, we are going to concentrate some around the battlefield and north of the DMZ and then on up further to pick up units of the 325th [North Vietnamese Division]. The President said to watch and he will give you the authority. I said I am watching it 24 hours a day, he does not have to worry about that. He wants as many destroyers shooting as he can get also. I said there are 10 of them going out with Midway that will be there in a couple of weeks, in the meanwhile we will have to have the barrels replaced on the ones there because they are shooting so much.

Laird has agreed to hit any MIG south of 20 that is airborne but I want to hit any MIG south of 20. He said you have the authority Tom, the only thing we will not give you right away is Haiphong. He said [Page 231] get a picture of the truck parks and you will get your authority.2 We are sending up 2 or 3 drones, they might get shot down, but we are working on it.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 218, Records of the Chairman, Moorer Diary, July 1970–July 1974.
  2. Kissinger and Moorer had talked about this authority just an hour earlier. According to Moorer’s account of their telephone conversation, which began at 1:19 p.m, “I got Laird to agree to let us declare any aircraft south of 20 hostile. HAK said you can also attack airfields up to 20 degrees and he asked if I told him that. I had a discussion with SecDef on that, he wanted to leave it just airborne aircraft south of 20 and I want it on the ground or in the air.” (Ibid.)