Secret White House Tapes

877-001b

About this recording

877-001a
  • President Richard M. Nixon
  • Jeremiah A. Denton
  • Manolo Sanchez
  • UNKNOWN
March 12, 1973
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1

Date: March 12, 1973
Time: 4:40 pm - 6:34 pm
Location: Oval Office

The President met with Jeremiah A. Denton.

[CONTINUED FROM OVAL 876]

[An unknown portion of this conversation was not recorded while the tape was being changed.]

[The recording began at an unknown time after 4:40 pm.]

Vietnam War
-December 1972 bombings
-Melvin R. Laird [?]
-Options
-Fighter bombers compared to B-52s
-Weather
-Window of opportunity
-Possible losses
-Laos [?]
-Decision
-Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
-Losses of B-52s
-Timing
-Flying patterns
-Targeting
-Moorer
-Christmas halt
-President’s telephone call to Henry A. Kissinger
-Resumption of bombing
-Moorer
-Resumption of bombing on December 26, 1972
-Intensity of attacks
-Denton’s experience
-Bombing decisions
-Public relations [PR]
-2-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-Reasons
-End of war
-“Maximum force”
-End of war
-“Uneasy peace”
-South Vietnam
-Military strength
-Morale
-Viability
-Aid to North Vietnam
-Leverage
-Bombings
-Debriefing for President
-Joseph [last name unknown]
-Cabinet
-Prisoner of war [POW] Reactions
-Denton’s leadership
-B-52s
-Integrity
-Prayer for President
-Effect on North Vietnam
-Military tactics
-Shock
-Explanation to Denton
-Explanation of escalation tactics
-Effect on willingness to fight
-Use
-Effect on combat
-Conduct of the war by John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson
-Gradual escalation
-1968 campaign
-President’s criticism
-Use of power
-POWs
-Perception of December 1972 bombing
-Effectiveness
-Senior officers [?]
-Appreciation
-3-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-Release of POWs
-Recordings
-Denton’s prediction
-May 1972 blockade
-Pressure in September
-Offer of release
-Publicity
-Basis for Vietnam settlement
-October negotiations
-George S. McGovern
-Position on withdrawal, POW
-Immorality
-North Vietnam
-Release of POWs
-Conditions
-US withdrawal
-Aid to South Vietnam
-Nguyen Van Thieu
-Overthrow
-Aid to Cambodia
-Thailand
-1972 election
-Compared to Harry S Truman-Thomas E. Dewey Campaign, 1948
-Vietnam settlement
-Newspaper predictions
-Impact on negotiations
-Communists
-POW release
-Denton's prediction
-Impact of December bombings, blockade
-Blockade, mining, bombing
-Aerial attack
-Rail lines
-Estimates of success
-Congress’s role
-Kissinger
-Return to Paris
-North Vietnam’s positioning
-4-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-Message
-New negotiations
-Conditions
-Vietnam settlement
-December bombing
-Timing
-Congress’s role
-Democratic caucus
-Partisanship
-Cut funds to South Vietnam
-US withdrawal
-POWs
-Impact on negotiations
-Kissinger
-President's resolve
-Compared to Congress, public, cabinet
-Denton’s opinion
-Planning
-Adm. Thomas H. Moorer’s role
-Melvin R. Laird’s role
-President's role
-Compared to Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson
-Intensity
-1972 summer
-Mining, blockade
-US-Union of Soviet Socialist Republics [USSR] summit
-Election
-McGovern
-Weather
-Peace
-Moorer’s recommendations
-Bombings
-Laird’s opposition
-Failure to press bombing
-Reports
-Impact on negotiations
-Opposition to President's policies
-Softness
-5-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-President's concern for presidency
-Personal feelings
-President's background
-Quakers
-Pacifism
-Evils of war
-Slavery
-Stakes of war
-Denton’s letter
-US character
-US foreign role
-Responsibility
-Leonid S. Brezhnev, Chou En-Lai, Mao Tse-Tung
-US presidency
-Strength and respect
-Nuclear weapons
-Polaris
-Poseidon
-Trident
-Impact of American \"Bug-Out\"
-Respect for People’s Republic of China [PRC]

US Foreign policy
-PRC-USSR interests
-President’s public statements
Desire for good relations
-Universities, press people’s appreciation
-President’s meeting with Communist leaders
-Relations with world leaders
-USSR


******************************************************************************

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 3
[National security]
[Duration: 14s]
-6-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)




NUCLEAR WEAPONS


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 3

******************************************************************************


US foreign policy
-PRC-USSR rivalry
-President’s public statements
-Denial of US manipulation
-Compared to public acknowledgement
-President’s meeting with PRC
Reasons
-1972 election
-PRC, USSR support for President
-1960 election
-Nikita S. Khrushchev
-Opposition to mining in Mexico [?]
-John F. Kennedy
-Need for US
-Chou En-lai, Mao Tse-Tung
-PRC’s fear of USSR


******************************************************************************

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 8
[National security]
[Duration: 10s]


USSR-PRC RELATIONS


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 8
-7-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)




******************************************************************************


US foreign policy
-PRC-USSR rivalry
-PRC’s military preparedness
-Bomb shelters
-US-PRC relations
-PRC leadership
-US credibility
-Strength
-USSR counterweight
-US withdrawal from Vietnam
-PRC response
-Dependability of US
-President’s meeting with Chou En-lai
-Compared with Japan
-USSR deal
-Rearmament
-US compared to USSR’s influence
-Kissinger’s return to PRC
-North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO]
-Europe
-PRC interests
-Counterweight to USSR
-US-USSR relations
-Historical perspective
-USSR’s fear of PRC


******************************************************************************

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 9
[National security]
[Duration: 13s]
-8-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



NUCLEAR WEAPONS


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 9

******************************************************************************


-PRC’s population
-US-PRC alliance
-USSR’s relations with Europe
-US-PRC relations
-USSR-PRC rift

Vietnam War
-US blockade, mining of North Vietnam
-PRC response
-USSR response
-President’s visit to USSR
-Summit
-Reception of US
-Meeting with Brezhnev, Nikolai V. Podgorni, Aleksei N.
Kosygin
-Dacha
-President’s quiet diplomacy
-USSR, PRC response
-Public comments
-December 1972 bombing
-USSR, PRC response
-Europe’s response
-Edward R. G. Heath
-Willy Brandt
-Germany
-Canada’s response
-Australia’s response
-Socialist leadership
-US actions
-Private channel communications
-9-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-Kissinger
-State Department
-Cables
-USSR-PRC response

Cambodia
-US actions
-PRC reaction
-US press corps
-Denton’s view
-Conclusion of War in 1965
-Conflict with PRC


******************************************************************************

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 10
[National security]
[Duration: 2s]


US-PRC RELATIONS


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 10

******************************************************************************


-USSR
-PRC, USSR strategic interests

Vietnam War
-US relations with PRC, USSR
-“Tacit agreement”
-Desire for peace
-North Vietnam actions
-Economic impact
-10-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-PRC, USSR
-Compared to revolutionary struggle
-Private diplomacy
-President’s intuition
-Response to bombing
-Publicity
-Demonstrations

US foreign policy
-Leadership
-John B. Connally
-International experience
-Compared to President
-World travel
-Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Asia
-1953 visit to Hanoi
-Partition
-Adm. Henry D. Felt
-Military
-Raymond A. Spruance
-Ambassador to Philippines
-Commanders in chief, Pacific [CINEPAC]
-[unintelligible names]

POWs
-Roger Shields
-Airplane
-Reception at home
-Press
-Charges of indoctrination
-Grand-standing
-Status as celebrities
-Example to other Americans
-View of US public
-Compared to baseball, football players
-Possible substance abuse
-Children
-Standard of conduct
-11-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-Patriotism compared to personal life
-Pride of POWs in US
-Interviews with press
-Denton
-Television [TV]
-Norfolk, Virginia
-Question about \"Bud\" Fletcher
-Shields
-Col. Robinson Risner
-US Air Force
-Statement on TV
-Peace settlement in 1968
-Compared to Denton
-Torture
-Amnesty request
- Ho Chi Minh
-Terms of settlement
-[First name unknown] Harrington [?]
-Dignity
-Years in captivity
-Ordeal
-Cooperation with North Vietnam
-Earlier prisoner
-Number
-Senior officer
-Psychological problem
-US Air Force
-US Navy
-Anti-war statement
-Voluntary
-Marina flyer
-Compared to new prisoners
-Treatment of the POWs
-Publicity
-Effect on US aid to North Vietnam
-Changes in treatment
-Denton compared to Risner
-October 1969
-12-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-Impact of President's speech
-November 3, 1969
-United Nations [UN]
-Death of Ho Chi Minh
-Denton's experience
-Camp transfer
-“Soft camp”
-News transcripts
-Conversations with Major Bai [?]
-Head of propaganda, torture program
-Democratic Republic of Vietnam [DRV] policy
-Self-criticism for ill treatment of POW's

Manolo Sanchez entered at an unknown time after 4:40 pm.

Refreshment
-Coffee

Sanchez left at an unknown time before 6:34 pm.

POWs
-Treatment
-Publicity
-Impact on North Vietnam
-Release
-Maj. Bai
-Disappearance
-Protest
-Fast
-Voluntary participation
-Denton’s leadership
-Treatment of POWs
-Effect on morale
-Food, games, exercise
-Removal
-Release
-Meeting of Denton and Col. Robinson Risner
-POWs public statements
-13-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-Treatment of POWs
-Impact on US aid to North Vietnam
-North Vietnamese statement
-POWs cooperation with North Vietnam
-POWs' response
-Publications
-Torture
-Change of treatment
-Geneva Convention
-Military hospital
-Treatment
-Publicity
-Public response
-Aid to North Vietnam
-Denton’s support
-POWs’ attitude
-Public statement
-Briefing
-Timing
-US withdrawal from Laos
-White House event for POWs
-Aid to North Vietnam
-Attitude of POWs
-Compared to Denton

Vietnam
-US policy communism
-Anti-communism
-Post-World War III
-United Nations [UN] mandate
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
-Distractions
-Europe
-Marshall Plan
-Withdrawal
-US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO]
-Revolution
-Ho Chi Minh
-14-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-PRC
-Opportunities for peace
-US aid as stimulus
-President's visits
Meeting with Gao Dai, Ngo Dinh Diem
-Ngo Dinh Diem
-Leadership
-Murder
-John F. Kennedy
-Catholicism
-Fulgencio Batista Y Zaldivar
-Cuba
-Latin American dictator
-Alternative
-Communist dictator
-Fidel Castro
-[Manolo Sanchez][?]
-President opinion of people
-Lies
-Cruelty
-Compared to PRC
-Energy level
-Laos
-Energy levels
-Cambodia
-Energy levels
-President’s visit
-Norodom Sihanouk
-Violin
-Thailand
-Energy levels
-Right-side of conflicts
-Wins
-Similar to Switzerland
-Malaysia
-Indonesia
-Relationship with the US
-Kissinger
-15-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-Phan Van Dong
-US withdrawal
-Renewal of conflict
-US aid to North Vietnam
-POW release
-Denton’s view

POWs
-Treatment by North Vietnam
-Publicity
-Leaks
-Public reaction
-North Vietnam compared with Nazi Germany
-Concentration camps
-US reaction

Aid to North Vietnam
-US credibility
-Christian charity
-Denton’s work

US Society and culture
-Changes in U.S.
-Published materials, TV, movies
-Denton’s conversations with Joe Kittinger [?]
-Flyer shoot down in 1972
-X-rated movies
-Degeneracy, moral climate
-Male leaders
-Women
-Youth
-Sexual hang-ups
-Newsweek, Time
-Cover stories
-Marlon Brando's film Last Tango in Paris
-Pornography
-US Supreme Court definition
-Redeeming social value
-16-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-Sales
-First commandment [?]
-Allegiance to country
-Spirituality
-Religion and patriotism
-Clergy
-Berkeley rebellion
-East coast
-1972 campaign
-Hecklers
-Appearance
-Long hair
-Hatred, obscenities
-Movies
-Antiwar demonstrations
-White House
-Numbers
-Press coverage
-TV, columnists
-New York and Washington, DC
-Compared with South, Midwest, and mountain states
-Church attendance
-Urban areas
-Illinois, Ohio, Indiana
-Texas
-California
-Corruption
-Los Angeles, Hollywood, San Francisco, San Diego
-Loss of religious faith
-Necessity of faith
-Principles
-Atheists
-Youth
-Self-hatred, anti-Americanism
-Loss of faith
-God
-Country
-Self
-17-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-Press corps
-Differences of beliefs with President
-Vietnam
-Values
-Honor
-Bill Henry
-Los Angeles Times sports editor
-Columnist
-Radio, TV program
-Window on Washington
-Criticism of Washington press corps
-Ministry
-Protestants and Catholics
-White House church service
-Father [first name unknown] Matthews
-Jesuits
-Conservatism
-University
-Self-hatred
-1972 election
-Students
-Support for President
-Faculty
-Support for George S. McGovern
-Students
-Friends of President
-Ivy League
-Marijuana
-Political establishment
-Robert A. Taft, Arthur H. Vandenberg, Richard B. Russell, Walter George
-Moral decline
-Congress
-Anti-ballistic missile [ABM]
-Vice President's tie-breaking vote in Senate
-Impact on nuclear negotiations with USSR
-Summit invitation
-18-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



******************************************************************************

BEING WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 5
[National security]
[Duration: 9s]


NUCLEAR WEAPONS


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 5

******************************************************************************


-Opposition in Senate
-Partisanship
-Supporters in Senate
-John C. Stennis
-Harry F. Byrd, Jr.
-Vietnam
-Stennis
-Statement
-Russell
-Bombing decision
-Lack of support
-President’s explanation
-Radio, TV
-North Vietnam
-PRC, USSR
-Compared to May 8, 1972 decision
-Public support
-Settlement
-Leader class
-Denton
-Education
-US Naval Academy, George Washington University
-Compared with President
-19-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-Moral decline
-Labor leaders
-George Meany
-Frank E. Fitzsimmons
-[unintelligible name]
-Strengths
-Farmers, isolationists
-Lower, middle class
-Ethnic peoples
-Italians
-Poles
-Irish
-South
-Patriotism
-Elite class
-Business community
-New York
-Misunderstanding
-Adolph Hitler
-Communism
-Effects of US education
-Weaknesses
-Leader class
-Decline of nations
-Military, economy compared to national character
-Common people compared with leader class
-Greece
-Rome
-Morality
-Compared to Communist nations
-Leadership
-Leonid I/ Brezhnev, Chou En-lai
-Brezhnev’s skill as swordsman
-Puritanical, overzealous attitude
-Graft, corruption
-PRC, USSR
-Leadership class
-Habits
-20-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-USSR
-Alcohol consumption
-Adultery
-US leadership
-Decline of “Puritan ethic”
-Courage, strength, principles
-President’s talks with business leaders, academics
-Reaction to Cambodian invasion
-Ivy League presidents
-Kissinger
-Harvard University
-Support for President
-Protests on campus
-Professors

POW's
-Example to Americans
-Image
-Frustrations
-Stories
-Potential leadership

Denton
-Book
-US society and culture
-Future plans
-Military service
-Book
-Age
-Military rank
-Leadership steps
-Flag
-Book
-Personal anecdotes
-Format
-Diary
-US moral climate
-Draft on bandages
-21-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-Anti-communism
-Solitary confinement
-Support for President

An unknown person entered at an unknown time after 4:40 pm.

Copy of President’s November 3, 1969 speech

The unknown person left at an unknown time before 6:34 pm.

President's speech

POWs
-Meetings with President

Denton
-Book
-Self-subjugation
-The Lord’s Prayer

An unknown person entered at an unknown time after 4:40 pm.

Delivery of November 3, 1969 speech

President's glasses

The unknown person left at an unknown time before 6:34 pm.

Glasses
-Denton's glasses

President's speeches
-Availability to Denton, other POWs
-Influence over POWs
-Denton’s view of President
-\"Silent Majority\" speech of November 3, 1969
-Denton's brother
-Use of term “Silent Majority”
-22-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-Crank calls to Denton
-President's points in speech
-Vietnam
-Alternatives for US
-“Just peace”
-Negotiated settlement
-Vietnamization
-U.S. withdrawal
-Consequences
-Recriminations
-US role in world
-Confidence in US
-Relief compared to remorse
-History
-President’s problems

Past wars
-[Thomas] Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman
-World War II
-Support of US public
-Cabinet
-World War I
-Abraham Lincoln
-Difficulties
-Mary Todd Lincoln's brothers
-Civil War experience
-Support of Cabinet
-Leader class
-Vietnam
-Support for President
-Public, Congress
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
-Anne Whitman's telephone calls to Vice President
-Problems
-Heart attack
-Political understanding
-Support
-President’s task to cheer up
-23-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)




Vietnam
-Lack of support for President
-Goals
-Oval Office
-Fate of presidency
-Importance

US as world leader
-Pre-World War I
-Theodore Roosevelt,
-Albert Thayer Mahan
-“Great White Fleet”
-US role
-Pre-World War II
-US leadership
-Compared to Great Britain
-Vietnam era
-Free world leadership
-President’s speech
-1968
-World politics
-Terror, communism
-PRC
-USSR
-Stakes in Vietnam
-Military sacrifice, POWs
-Credibility
-American spirit, character
-Postwar role
-Disarmament
-Public sentiment
-Defense budget cuts
-Dealings with USSR, PRC, North Vietnam
-US strength
-Public support
-Leadership class
-Compared to labor, stenographers [?], farmers, poor
-24-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)
Conversation No. 876-13/877-1 (cont’d)



-Importance
-Opinion makers
-TV, radio, columnists, university presidents, clergy,
businessmen, political leaders
-US withdrawal
-Opposition to war
-Leadership class
-1969 election
-Victory
-Compared to “Silent majority”
-Hardhats, farmers, poor
-Support for President
-Need for leadership
-“Average man”
-Clergy, politicians

US society and culture
-Education
-Respect for teachers
-Religious schools
-High schools
-Press
-Influence
-TV
-Vice President Spiro T. Agnew's statements
-Denton’s interactions
-Consensus

Denton's meeting with President

POWs
-Reception
-Example for President

Presidential gift
-Golf balls

POWs
-25-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Sept.-2010)



-Reception
-Weather

President's visit to South in the 1940's
-Road trip
-Virginia
-South Carolina
-North Carolina
-Charleston, South Carolina gardens
-Flowers
-Motels

Denton left at 6:34 pm.
Secret White House Tapes |

877-001b

More Richard M. Nixon Recordings

View all Richard M. Nixon tapes
118–1
audio icon
410–1
audio icon
119–1
audio icon
878–1
audio icon
410–10
audio icon
878–10
audio icon
410–11
audio icon
878–11
audio icon
410–12
audio icon
878–12
audio icon