35. Memorandum From the Director of Central Intelligence (Schlesinger) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Report on Use of Covert Channels to Convey a Message to Hanoi
We have taken appropriate steps to implement your request of 13 March2 that the Agency use its covert channels to convey convincingly to the North Vietnamese leadership the message that the U.S. Government will not tolerate the communists’ massive violations of the Paris Agreements and will not let continued violations go unpunished. This message was passed on 16 March to well-placed North Vietnamese officials in both Vientiane and Paris under circumstances which should assure that it will reach the proper quarters in Hanoi.
Our disinformation program was designed specifically to lead the North Vietnamese to conclude that we were deliberately leaking our plans to them in such a way as to enable them, in effect, to save face vis-à-vis the American officials with whom they are engaged in on-going negotiations. By passing an identical message simultaneously in two widely separated portions of the globe, we sought to underscore the seriousness which we ascribed to this warning.
[1 paragraph (15 lines) not declassified]
[10 lines not declassified]
James R. Schlesinger 3
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry Files, Job 80–B01086A. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Colby recommended signature of the memorandum on March 20.
  2. Kissinger made this request at the March 13 WSAG meeting. The minutes are in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H–Files) Box 117, WSAG Meeting Minutes, Originals, 1973.
  3. Colby signed for Schlesinger above Schlesinger’s typed signature.