95. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and Secretary of Defense Schlesinger1

K: Hello.

S: Hello, Henry.

K: Jim two things. I have a backchannel from Graham Martin2 who was in Phnom Penh and who feels we should switch bombing to the frontier and concentrations along the frontier.

[Page 387]

S: OK, you mean the B–52s?

K: Yes. He also claims there are restrictions on our bombing.

S: I know not about that. The Embassy had restrictions on bombing in the south.

K: For what reason?

S: I never figured that one out. I think we discussed it with you in San Clemente.

K: And I overruled it then.

S: I think so. Well, I’ll check on it. I assumed it was called off but they may still be using it in the field.

K: Can we make sure. There are only two weeks left.

S: ______

K: In the next two weeks and fast.

S: You’re sure you want that. There has been a proclivity to lay low in the frontier. Any way let me look into it.

K: I know I want it. What is the proclivity?

S: I think the attitude may have been that the purpose was to show up the Cambodian bombings not to beat the hell out of the ______ of South Vietnam.

K: But South Vietnam is the ballgame.

S: Yes, but we have got some kind of ceasefire with these bastards. Suddenly we open up with B–52s. Let me look at this problem and get back to you shortly.

K: But today.

S: Yes.

K: Jim, about our Friday conversation, could you let me know as soon as possible what you are doing so we can get word to ______ and also if there is any information. We got to prepare ourselves properly.

S: OK. Very good. I will go to John Foster.

K: Can you let me know by the end of the day tomorrow?

S: That is going to be hard on the first question because we don’t know what we are going to do on the sanctuaries.

K: You don’t have to give an answer on what we are going to do; what I want to know is what ______ and what procedures we are ginning up to get ourselves ready. We would like to give a positive response and attitude.

S: OK.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry A. Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 21, Chronological File. No classification marking. Blank underscores are omissions in the original.
  2. Backchannel message 534 from Saigon, July 30; ibid., NSC Files, Box 416, Backchannel Messages, Martin, July 19–December 1973.