90. Summary of Conclusions of a Washington Special Actions Group Meeting1


  • Vietnam


  • Chairman
  • Maj. Gen. Alexander Haig
  • State
  • U. Alexis Johnson
  • William Sullivan
  • Defense
  • Kenneth Rush
  • G. Warren Nutter
  • R/Adm. William R. Flanagan
  • JCS
  • Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
  • CIA
  • George Carver
  • NSC
  • Richard T. Kennedy
  • John H. Holdridge
  • Mark Wandler


It was agreed that:

  • —Admiral Moorer should bring in some damage assessment photos of the target areas in Hanoi and Haiphong.
  • CIA should check on the exact location of the 325th Division.
  • —The Departments should continue to follow the PR line set down by Secretaries Rogers and Laird.2
  • —The Departments of Defense and State should develop a plan for the South Vietnamese Navy to stop and search three trawlers bringing supplies to the North Vietnamese forces in the Delta. The plan should also deal with the “Chinese flag” problem.3

[Omitted here are the minutes of the meeting.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–116, Washington Special Actions Group, WSAG Minutes (Originals) 1–3–72 to 7–24–72. Top Secret; Sensitive. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.
  2. According to the minutes of the meeting, Haig said the following: “I talked to Henry and the President about this last night. The President wants us to stay with the tough PR line. He wants us to follow the leads of the Secretaries, and he wants us to avoid implying that something is going on—when it may or may not be going on.”
  3. According to the minutes of the meeting, Carver said: “We know the vessels. They undoubtedly have Chinese flags in their lockers, which they can run up if a South Vietnamese destroyer approaches. But I think we can make a pretty strong case that these are North Vietnamese ships.” That being so, U. Alexis Johnson said: “Let’s get our people together—including the lawyers—and develop a proposition.” Moorer agreed, adding: “And whatever action we decide on, it will be the South Vietnamese who actually do it.”