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Monday, April 30, 2012

Lesson One: Global Conspiracy Reality! (part 2)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

NSA Spy Building Questions and Answers

James Bamford talks about how the NSA is building the country's biggest spy center and answers questions about it and you may not like the answers.

UFO mainstream media coverage MASS SIGHTINGS taking place


UFO mainstream media coverage MASS SIGHTINGS taking place. This video deals with more recent ufo phenomenon and the reality of it present in todays news media, so real infact airports have begun to be shut down temporarily on account of them.

Area 51 : The Frantic Caller

In 1997 syndicated talk show host Art Bell received a frantic call from a man claiming to have worked in Area 51. The entire radio station was zapped off the air as soon as the caller began to reveal detailed plans concerning "aliens" the government, and the population.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

CIA Plays Ugly Role, Trains Syrian Rebels

Researcher and author of Full Spectrum Dominance, F. William Engdahl talks to RT from across the Syrian border about his take on the latest developments in Syria and Turkey.

Friday, April 13, 2012

North Korea Fires Long-range Rocket, Launch Fails

U.S. officials say a rocket launched by North Korea failed moments after being fired, but the White House still described the launch as a "provocative action" that threatens regional security and violates international law. (April 13)

Raw Video: Flames Seen Near Calif. Standoff

Large flames shot late Thursday night from a Modesto apartment building where a suspect is believed holed up following the shooting deaths of a deputy and a civilian. (April 13)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Moon | MIT 16.346 Astrodynamics, Fall 2008

Instructor: Richard Battin

See the complete course at:

Subtitles for this course are provided thanks to the generous assistance of Balaji Srinivasan.

License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
More information at
More courses at


Military and defense. Japan's SDF prepared for North Korean launch. CSF Rieti

See in Japan's SDF prepared for North Korean launch. Japanese Self-Defense Force units have been deployed ahead of North Korea's expected missile launch. North Korea says it is a rocket and will be carrying a satellite.The North says the launch window is scheduled from Thursday through Monday, and that it began fueling on Wednesday.Should any parts of the North Korean missile fall over Japan, the SDF has been instructed to shoot them down.Aegis destroyers and land-based radars are ready to track the flight to closely analyze its trajectory.The destroyers are equipped with high-performance radars and SM-3 interceptor missiles. Two of the ships have been positioned in the East China Sea around Okinawa and the third is in the Sea of Japan.

SDF units with PAC-3 surface-to-air missiles have been deployed at 4 locations in Okinawa Prefecture. The missile is expected to fly over the southern prefecture.The ministry has also set up PAC-3 units at 3 locations in the Tokyo metropolitan area in case the missile should veer widely from its planned course. Ground Self-Defense Force units have been sent to Okinawa and will gather information and undertake any rescue operations if necessary. Thursday, April 12, 2012 06:10 +0900 (JST)

SDF Giapponese in preparazione per il lancio della Corea del Nord. Unità di forze Militari Giapponesi sono stati schierati prima del previsto lancio del missile della Corea del Nord. La Corea del Nord dice che è un razzo e sarà preceduto dal satellite. Il Nord dice che la finestra di lancio è in programma da lunedì a Giovedì. Mercoledì sono iniziate le fasi d'alimentazione complesso missilistico. Qualora delle parti di missile nordcoreano ricadesssero sul Giappone la SDF ha il compito di abbatterli. Cacciatorpediniere Aegis e radar terrestri sono pronti per seguire il volo per analizzare attentamente la sua traiettoria. I distruttori sono dotati di radar ad alte prestazioni e SM-3 missili intercettori. Due delle navi sono state posizionate nel Mar Cinese Orientale intorno Okinawa e la terza si trova nel Mar del Giappone.

Unità di SDF con Pac-3 di superficie-aria missili sono stati dispiegati in 4 sedi in Prefettura di Okinawa. Il missile dovrebbe sorvolare la prefettura meridionale. Il ministero ha anche istituito PAC-3 unità a 3 punti della zona metropolitana di Tokyo nel caso in cui il missile deve virare ampiamente dalla sua rotta programmata. Terra Self-Defense unità di forza sono stati inviati a Okinawa e raccogliere informazioni e procedere a tutte le operazioni di soccorso, se necessario. Giovedi, April 12, 2012 6:10 0900 (JST)

DPRK North Korea Long-Range Rocket Launch (Possible Path) - April 12-16, 2012

North Korea is preparing to launch its Unha-3 long-range rocket between April 12-16, 2012. AGI has used its software to produce a video demonstrating the launch and its possible path, tracking assets and landing zones.

Credit: Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI)

Fears as North Korea Prepares to Launch Rocket

The country of North Korea in Asia is preparing to launch a rocket into space, and the news has got their neighbouring countries very worried.

North Korea says that the rocket launch is to put a satellite into orbit.

But other countries think they're actually testing a missile that could be used to carry nuclear weapons.

North Korea is one of the most secretive countries in the world and it's really difficult for outsiders to find out what's going on there.

2MIN News Apr12


The western region of Mexico NEW YORK, April 12 at 6 o'clock 55 7.0 earthquake occurs in this earthquake clearly felt in the capital Mexico City, there is no report of casualties and property losses. Less than a month, Mexico's third massive earthquake. March 20, Mexico had a magnitude 7.4 earthquake, resulting in hundreds of homes damaged. Since also occurred in several aftershocks. The morning of April 2, Mexico's southern state of Guerrero local time a magnitude 6.3 earthquake.

Monday, April 9, 2012

North Korea: video from the inside

North Korea is a very closed country. but tourists are allowed in. A Radio Netherlands' journalist joined a tour and secretely filmed from a bus. You see images of the Korean landscape and People. Red Cross employee Jaap Timmer, who lived in North Korea for 3 years, comments on the footage.

North Korea Holds Media Event For Long Range Rocket Set To Launch This Week

Monday, April 2, 2012

Shooting at Oikos University in Oakland California

5 Unconfirmed Dead at california university shooting. Police have confirmed that there are fatalities in a shooting at an Oakland Christian university that also left at least four people wounded. A possible suspect was in custody.
Police spokeswoman has confirmed the deaths Monday at Oikos University, but could not say how many.
Officials at a nearby hospital say they're treating four people from the shooting.
Earlier, TV footage showed officers surrounding the building in search of the suspect, described as a Korean man in his 40s with a heavy build and wearing khaki clothing.
The Oakland Fire Department says it was first notified of the shooting at about 10:50 local time (18:50 GMT).

BREAKING: 5 dead in Oakland university shooting

April 2, 2012 (OAKLAND, Calif.) -- A suspect was detained Monday in a shooting attack at an Oakland Christian university that sources said has left at least five people dead.

Law enforcement sources close to the investigation told The Associated Press that at least five people have died after the morning shooting at Oikos University.

Related Content
raw video: Police lead people out of Oakland Oikos University after shooting
Meanwhile, police said a suspect was detained in the attack. Officer Johnna Watson did not give any other details about the arrest.

"I can confirm that we do have one person who has been detained that we believe is possibly responsible for this shooting," Watson said.

Four victims arrived at Highland Hospital for treatment, said spokeswoman Jerri Randrup.

Earlier, television news footage showed officers surrounding the building in search of the suspect. The footage also showed wounded people being carried out of the building, and more gurneys were being brought in.

"One of the people who was inside the building, she was saying there is a crazy guy inside," witness Brian Snow told KGO-TV. "She did say someone got shot in the chest right next to her before she got taken off in an ambulance."

According of its website, Oikos University offers studies in theology, music, nursing and Asian medicine.

Sources: 5 Dead in Shooting at Calif. School

Police surrounded a Christian university in search of a gunman who reportedly opened fire Monday morning and wounded multiple people, authorities said. The shooting was reported shortly after 10:30 a.m. at Oikos University in east Oakland. (April 2)

Secrets of the CIA - [State Sponsored Terrorism]

History of China: The Roots of Madness - CIA Cold War Documentary Film

China: The Roots of Madness is a 1967 Cold War era, made-for-TV documentary film produced by David L. Wolper, written by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Theodore H. White with production cost funded by a donation from John and Paige Curran. It won an Emmy Award in the documentary category.

The film attempts to analyze the Anti-Western sentiment in China from the official American's perspective, covering 170 years of China's political history, from Boxer Rebellion of the Qing Dynasty to Red Guards of Cultural Revolution. The film focuses on the power struggle between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China, amid heavy political intervention from Moscow, with Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong playing the pivotal role at the center stage.

The documentary film was made for television in 1967 -- during the Cold War era. It was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Theodore H. White, directed by Mel Stuart, edited by William T. Cartwright and produced by David L. Wolper. Production costs were funded by a donation from John and Paige Curran. The film has been released under Creative Commons license. White's access to important political figures of the time allowed him to create some rare footage, which included the wedding of Chang Kai-shek and the funeral of Sun Yat-sen. The film won an Emmy Award in the documentary category.

As evidenced by his commentary throughout the films, White, Time magazine's China correspondent during World War II, was scathing about the People's Republic of China. Remarking that Chinese had been suffering in a 100-year tragedy, he added:
"There are 700 millions Chinese [in 1967], one quarter of humane kind, who are taught to hate, their growing power is the world's greatest threat to peace enlightenment. 50 years of torment, bred madness..."

For 50 years, Americans have failed to help the Chinese to find "some entry to the modern world", as the Chinese have "been transformed from our greatest friend into our greatest enemy", as the Chinese have fallen into the vicious cycle of "from the tyranny of Confucius of the Manchu Emperor to the tyranny of communism and Mao".

White referred to Empress Dowager Cixi as "China's evil spirit... a Manchu concubine...said to have poisoned her own son upon his throne, install her infant nephew as the emperor, killed his mother, and then imprisoned him in 1898".

Pearl Buck on the Boxer Rebellion:"Empress Dowager had issued an decree that all white people are to be killed, and many have been killed, especially in the north of Shandong, men, women and children of the missionary."

White's impression on the downfall of Qing Dynasty: "...and then it vanished, simply vanished, the Manchu Dynasty disappeared overnight, nothing like that had ever happen in all the history, 2000 years of tradition, the whole structure of the imperial confucianism, political thought, dissolving to dust..."

White's impression on post-Manchu Empire China:"...out of this turbulence, there appeared two types of Asian leaders, arch symbols, the the man of gun, and the man of idea, and these two types of gunman and the dreamer, have perplexed all our efforts in Asia for 50 years since, and they still perplexed and haunted all our policy, even today..."

White's impression on Sun Yat-sen:"...was a man of dream, the dream of China, powerful, free of emperors and foreigners, made him from his youth a revolutionary...Slowly from the early 1920, Sun Yatsen had somehow built a government, a tiny southern foothold at Canton, ringed by hostile warlords. By 1924 the ageing revolutionary had learned, idea and gun must go 1923 he tells the New York Times: We have lost hope of help from America, England, France, the only country that show any sign of helping us in the south is the Soviet government of Russia..."

White on Kuomingtang left wing: "[they] no longer trust their army leader at the front. Borodin is urging: 'Get rid of Chiang Kaishek.' In four short years, the communist had grown 60,000 members. To hear the left wing Nationalist: 'No revolution is completed, until peasants own their land, and workers their factories.' Chiang disagreed."

While the film won an Emmy Award in the documentary category soon after its release, contemporary critics have criticised his "callous and condescending" portrayal of Chinese. Film Threat remarked that White never attempted to take on board the Chinese viewpoint, and points out there were unconfirmed rumours that the CIA was involved in the film's making.

U.S Army General talks about North Korea and Kim Jung-il's nuclear threat and aggression - 2011

The Korean peninsula is seen by many as potentially the next major war zone. In a Pentagon Channel exclusive, Gail McCabe spoke with Gen. James Thurman, commanding general of U.S. Forces - Korea, about the shape of the threat and the alliance between America and the Republic of Korea. 11.16.2011

KCNA (National Meeting Held to Mark 30th Anniversary of Kim Jong Il′s Work)

Korean Central News Agency Copyright © 2000-2012 DPR of Korea

Raw Video: Dozens Arrested in Moscow Protest

Police in Moscow arrested dozens of people outside Red Square as protesters gathered to take part in a demonstration against President-elect Vladimir Putin. (April 1)

4/2/2012 -- Texas, Minnesota, East Coast -- Scalar Square , HAARP ring outbreak

website post with screenshots and the link to the Stanford .pdf dealing with the subject:

2017 Microchip - Elite Private Banking Monetary Replacement Plan

Targeted Individuals: x-rayed

Who’s in Big Brother’s Database?

by James Bamford

The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency
by Matthew M. Aid
Bloomsbury, 423 pp., $30.00

On a remote edge of Utah’s dry and arid high desert, where temperatures often zoom past 100 degrees, hard-hatted construction workers with top-secret clearances are preparing to build what may become America’s equivalent of Jorge Luis Borges’s “Library of Babel,” a place where the collection of information is both infinite and at the same time monstrous, where the entire world’s knowledge is stored, but not a single word is understood. At a million square feet, the mammoth $2 billion structure will be one-third larger than the US Capitol and will use the same amount of energy as every house in Salt Lake City combined.

Unlike Borges’s “labyrinth of letters,” this library expects few visitors. It’s being built by the ultra-secret National Security Agency—which is primarily responsible for “signals intelligence,” the collection and analysis of various forms of communication—to house trillions of phone calls, e-mail messages, and data trails: Web searches, parking receipts, bookstore visits, and other digital “pocket litter.” Lacking adequate space and power at its city-sized Fort Meade, Maryland, headquarters, the NSA is also completing work on another data archive, this one in San Antonio, Texas, which will be nearly the size of the Alamodome.

Just how much information will be stored in these windowless cybertemples? A clue comes from a recent report prepared by the MITRE Corporation, a Pentagon think tank. “As the sensors associated with the various surveillance missions improve,” says the report, referring to a variety of technical collection methods, “the data volumes are increasing with a projection that sensor data volume could potentially increase to the level of Yottabytes (1024 Bytes) by 2015.”1 Roughly equal to about a septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text, numbers beyond Yottabytes haven’t yet been named. Once vacuumed up and stored in these near-infinite “libraries,” the data are then analyzed by powerful infoweapons, supercomputers running complex algorithmic programs, to determine who among us may be—or may one day become—a terrorist. In the NSA’s world of automated surveillance on steroids, every bit has a history and every keystroke tells a story.

In the near decade since September 11, the tectonic plates beneath the American intelligence community have undergone a seismic shift, knocking the director of the CIA from the top of the organizational chart and replacing him with the new director of national intelligence, a desk-bound espiocrat with a large staff but little else. Not only surviving the earthquake but emerging as the most powerful chief the spy world has ever known was the director of the NSA. He is in charge of an organization three times the size of the CIA and empowered in 2008 by Congress to spy on Americans to an unprecedented degree, despite public criticism of the Bush administration’s use of the agency to conduct warrantless domestic surveillance as part of the “war on terror.” The legislation also largely freed him of the nettlesome Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). And in another significant move, he was recently named to head the new Cyber Command, which also places him in charge of the nation’s growing force of cyber warriors.

Wasting no time, the agency has launched a building boom, doubling the size of its headquarters, expanding its listening posts, and constructing enormous data factories. One clue to the possible purpose of the highly secret megacenters comes from the agency’s British partner, Government Communications Headquarters. Last year, the British government proposed the creation of an enormous government-run central database to store details on every phone call, e-mail, and Internet search made in the United Kingdom. Click a “send” key or push an “answer” button and the details of the communication end up, perhaps forever, in the government’s data warehouse to be scrutinized and analyzed.

But when the plans were released by the UK government, there was an immediate outcry from both the press and the public, leading to the scrapping of the “big brother database,” as it was called. In its place, however, the government came up with a new plan. Instead of one vast, centralized database, the telecom companies and Internet service providers would be required to maintain records of all details about people’s phone, e-mail, and Web-browsing habits for a year and to permit the government access to them when asked. That has led again to public anger and to a protest by the London Internet Exchange, which represents more than 330 telecommunications firms. “We view…the volume of data the government now proposes [we] should collect and retain will be unprecedented, as is the overall level of intrusion into the privacy of citizenry,” the group said in August.2

Unlike the British government, which, to its great credit, allowed public debate on the idea of a central data bank, the NSA obtained the full cooperation of much of the American telecom industry in utmost secrecy after September 11. For example, the agency built secret rooms in AT&T’s major switching facilities where duplicate copies of all data are diverted, screened for key names and words by computers, and then transmitted on to the agency for analysis. Thus, these new centers in Utah, Texas, and possibly elsewhere will likely become the centralized repositories for the data intercepted by the NSA in America’s version of the “big brother database” rejected by the British.

Matthew M. Aid has been after the NSA’s secrets for a very long time. As a sergeant and Russian linguist in the NSA’s Air Force branch, he was arrested and convicted in a court-martial, thrown into prison, and slapped with a bad conduct discharge for impersonating an officer and making off with a stash of NSA documents stamped Top Secret Codeword. He now prefers to obtain the NSA’s secrets legally, through the front door of the National Archives. The result is The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency , a footnote-heavy history told largely through declassified but heavily redacted NSA reports that have been slowly trickling out of the agency over the years. They are most informative in the World War II period but quickly taper off in substance during the cold war.

Aid begins his study on the eve of Pearl Harbor, a time when the entire American cryptologic force could fit into a small, half-empty community theater. But by war’s end, it would take a football stadium to seat the 37,000 military and civilian “crippies.” On August 14, 1945, as the ink dried on Japan’s instruments of surrender, the linguists and codebreakers manning the thirty-seven key listening posts around the world were reading more than three hundred diplomatic code and cipher systems belonging to sixty countries. “The American signals intelligence empire stood at the zenith of its power and prestige,” notes Aid. But within days, the cryptanalysts put away their well-sharpened pencils and the intercept operators hung up their earphones. By the end of December 1945, America’s crypto world had shrunk to 7,500 men and women.

Despite the drastic layoffs, the small cadre of US and British codebreakers excelled against the new “main enemy,” as Russia became known. The joint US-British effort deciphered tens of thousands of Russian army and navy messages during the mid-to-late 1940s. But on October 29, 1948, as President Truman was about to deliver a campaign speech in New York, the party was over. In what became known within the crypto world as “Black Friday,” the Russian government and military flipped a switch and instantly converted to new, virtually unbreakable encryption systems and from vulnerable radio signals to buried cables. In the war between spies and machines, the spies won. The Soviets had managed to recruit William Weisband, a forty-year-old Russian linguist working for the US Army, who informed them of key cryptologic weaknesses the Americans were successfully exploiting. It was a blow from which the codebreakers would never recover. NSA historians called it “perhaps the most significant intelligence loss in US history.”

In the 1970s, when some modest gains were made in penetrating the Russian systems, history would repeat itself and another American turncoat, this time Ronald Pelton, would again give away the US secrets. Since then, it has largely been a codemaker’s market not only with regard to high-level Russian ciphers, but also those of other key countries, such as China and North Korea. On the other hand, the NSA has made significant progress against less cryptologically sophisticated countries and, from them, gained insight into plans and intentions of countries about which the US has greater concerns. Thus, when a Chinese diplomat at the United Nations discusses some new African venture with a colleague from Sudan, the eavesdroppers at the NSA may be deaf to the Chinese communications links but they may be able to get that same information by exploiting weaknesses in Sudan’s communications and cipher systems when the diplomat reports the meeting to Khartoum. But even third-world cryptography can be daunting. During the entire war in Vietnam, writes Aid, the agency was never able to break the high-level encryption systems of either the North Vietnamese or the Vietcong. It is a revelation that leads him to conclude “that everything we thought we knew about the role of NSA in the Vietnam War needs to be reconsidered.”

Because the book is structured chronologically, it is somewhat difficult to decipher the agency’s overall record. But one sees troubling trends. One weakness that seems to recur is that the agency, set up in the wake of World War II to prevent another surprise attack, is itself frequently surprised by attacks and other serious threats. In the 1950s, as over 100,000 heavily armed North Korean troops surged across the 38th parallel into South Korea, the codebreakers were among the last to know. “The North Korean target was ignored,” says a declassified NSA report quoted by Aid. “North Korea got lost in the shuffle and nobody told us that they were interested in what was going on north of the 38th parallel,” exclaimed one intelligence officer. At the time, astonishingly, the Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA), the NSA’s predecessor, didn’t even have a Korean-language dictionary.

Unfortunately for General Douglas MacArthur, the codebreakers were able to read the communications of Spain’s ambassador to Tokyo and other diplomats, who noted that in their discussions with the general, he made clear his secret hope for all-out war with China and Russia, including the use of nuclear weapons if necessary. In a rare instance of secret NSA intercepts playing a major part in US politics, once the messages were shown to President Truman, MacArthur’s career abruptly ended.

Another major surprise came in the 1960s when the Soviet Union was able to move large numbers of personnel, large amounts of equipment, and many ballistic missiles to Cuba without the NSA hearing a peep. Still unable to break into the high-level Soviet cipher systems, the agency was unaware that the 51st Rocket Division had packed up and was encamped in Cuba. Nor did it detect the move of five complete medium-range and intermediate-range missile regiments from their Russian bases to Cuba. And it had no knowledge that Russian ballistic missiles were on Cuban soil, being positioned in launchers. “Soviet communications security was almost perfect,” according to an NSA historian.

The first clues that something unusual was happening had come in mid-July 1962, when NSA analysts noticed record numbers of Soviet cargo and passenger ships heading for Cuba. Analysis of their unencrypted shipping manifests led the NSA to suspect that the ships were delivering weapons. But the nuclear-armed ballistic missiles were not detected until mid-October, a month after their arrival, and not by the NSA; it was the CIA, acting on information from its sources in Cuba and Florida, that ordered the U-2 reconnaisance flight that photographed them at launch sites on the island. “The crisis,” Aid concludes, “was in fact anything but an intelligence success story.” This is a view shared by the agency itself in a candid internal history, which noted that the harrowing events “marked the most significant failure of SIGINT [signals intelligence] to warn national leaders since World War II.”

More recently, the NSA was unaware of India’s impending nuclear test in 1998, the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, and the 1998 bombing of two of America’s East African embassies. The agency first learned of the September 11 attacks on $300 television sets tuned to CNN, not its billion-dollar eavesdropping satellites tuned to al-Qaeda.

Then there is the pattern by which the NSA was actually right about a warning, but those in power chose to ignore it. During the Korean War, the AFSA picked up numerous indications from low-level unencrypted Chinese intercepts that the Chinese were shifting hundreds of thousands of combat troops to Manchuria by rail, an obvious signal that China might enter the war. But those in charge of Army intelligence simply refused to believe it; it didn’t fit in with their plans.

Then, by reading the dispatches between India’s well-connected ambassador to Beijing and his Foreign Office, it became clear that China would intervene if UN forces crossed the 38th parallel into North Korea. But again, says Aid, the warning “was either discounted or ignored completely by policymakers in Washington,” and as the UN troops began crossing the divide, Chinese troops crossed the Yalu River into North Korea. Even when intercepts indicated that the Chinese were well entrenched in the North, officials in Washington and Seoul remained in a state of disbelief, until both South Korean and US forces there were attacked by the Chinese forces.

The pattern was repeated in Vietnam when NSA reporting warned on January 25, 1968, that a major coordinated attack would occur “in the near future in several areas of South Vietnam.” But neither the White House, the CIA, nor General William Westmoreland at US military headquarters in Saigon believed it, until over 100,000 North Vietnamese and Vietcong troops launched their Tet offensive in the South five days later on January 30. “The [NSA] reports failed to shake the commands in Washington and Saigon from their perception,” says an NSA history. Tragically, Aid notes, at the end of the war, all of the heroic Vietnamese cryptologic personnel who greatly helped the NSA were left behind. “Many,” the NSA report reveals, “undoubtedly perished.” It added, “Their story is yet untold.” Then again in 1973, as in Korea and Vietnam, the NSA warned that Egypt and Syria were planning “a major offensive” against Israel. But, as Aid quotes an official NSA history, the CIA refused to believe that an attack was imminent “because [they thought] the Arabs wouldn’t be ‘stupid enough’ to attack Israel.” They were, they did, and they won.

Everything seemed to go right for the NSA during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which the agency had accurately forecast. “NSA predicted on December 22 [1979], three full days before the first Soviet troops crossed the Soviet–Afghan border, that the Russians would invade Afghanistan within the next seventy-two hours,” writes Aid, adding, “Afghanistan may have been the ‘high water mark’ for NSA.”

The agency also recorded the words of the Russian fighter pilot and his ground controllers as he shot down Korean Airlines Flight 007 in 1983. Although the agency knew that the Russians had accidently mistaken the plane for a potentially hostile US military aircraft, the Reagan administration nevertheless deliberately spun the intercepts to make it seem that the fighter pilot knew all along that it was a passenger jet, infuriating NSA officials. “The White House’s selective release of the most salacious of the NSA material concerning the shootdown set off a firestorm of criticism inside NSA,” writes Aid. It was not the first time, nor would it be the last, that the NSA’s product was used for political purposes.

The most troubling pattern, however, is that the NSA, through gross incompetence, bad intelligence, or deliberate deception through the selective release of information, has helped to push the US into tragic wars. A prime example took place in 1964 when the Johnson administration claimed that two US Navy destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin, one on an eavesdropping mission for the NSA, were twice attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo boats. Those attacks were then used to justify the escalation of American involvement in the Vietnam War. But Aid cites a top-secret NSA analysis of the incident, completed in 2000, which concluded that the second attack, the one used to justify the war, never took place. Instead, NSA officials deliberately withheld 90 percent of the intelligence on the attacks and told the White House only what it wanted to hear. According to the analysis, only intelligence “that supported the claim that the communists had attacked the two destroyers was given to administration officials.”

Not having learned its lesson, in the lead-up to the war in Iraq the NSA again told the administration only what it wanted to hear, despite the clearly ambiguous nature of the evidence. For years beforehand, the agency’s coverage of Iraq was disastrous. In the late 1990s, the Iraqis began shifting much of their high-level military communications from radio to buried fiber optic networks, and at the same time, Saddam Hussein banned the use of cell phones. That left only occasional low-level troop communications. According to a later review, Aid writes, NSA had “virtually no useful signals intelligence on a target that was one of the United States’ top intelligence priorities.” And the little intelligence it did have pointed away from Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction. “We looked long and hard for any signs,” said one retired NSA official. “We just never found a ‘smoking gun’ that Saddam was trying to build nukes or anything else.” That, however, did not prevent the NSA director, Lieutenant Gen. Michael V. Hayden, from stamping his approval on the CIA’s 2002 National Intelligence Estimate arguing that Iraq’s WMDs posed a grave danger, which helped prepare the way for the devastating war.

While much of the terrain Aid covers has been explored before, the most original areas in The Secret Sentry deal with the ground wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, where the NSA was forced to marry, largely unsuccessfully, its super-high-tech strategic capabilities in space with its tactical forces on the ground. Before the September 11 attacks, the agency’s coverage of Afghanistan was even worse than that of Iraq. At the start of the war, the NSA’s principal listening post for the region did not have a single linguist proficient in Pashto or Dari, Afghanistan’s two principal languages. Agency recruiters descended on Fremont, California, home of the country’s largest population of Afghan expatriates, to build up a cadre of translators—only to have most candidates rejected by the agency’s overparanoid security experts. On the plus side, because of the collapse of the Taliban regime’s rudimentary communications system, its leaders were forced to communicate only by satellite phones, which were very susceptible to NSA monitoring.

Other NSA tactical teams, Aid explains, collaborated on the ground with Special Forces units, including in the mountains of Tora Bora. But it was a new type of war, one the NSA was not prepared for, and both Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar easily slipped through its electronic net. Eight years later, despite billions of dollars spent by the agency and dozens of tapes released by bin Laden, the NSA is no closer to capturing him or Mullah Omar than it was at Tora Bora in 2001.

Disappointingly, the weakest section of the book, mostly summaries of old news clips, deals with what may be the most important subject: the NSA’s warrantless eavesdropping and its targeting of American communications. There is no discussion, for example, of the agency’s huge data-mining centers, mentioned above, currently being built in Utah and Texas, or to what extent the agency, which has long been confined to foreign and international communications, is now engaged in domestic eavesdropping.

It is a key question and we have no precise answer. By installing its intercept rooms in such locations as AT&T’s main switching station in downtown San Francisco, the agency has physical access to domestic as well as international communications. Thus it is possible that the agency scans all the e-mail of both and it may also eavesdrop on the telephone calls of both for targets on its ever-growing watch lists. According to a recent Justice Department report, “As of December 31, 2008, the consolidated terrorist watchlist contained more than 1.1 million known or suspected terrorist identities.”3

Aid’s history becomes thin as it gets closer to the present day and the archival documents dwindle, especially since he has no substantial first-person, on-the-record interviews. Beyond a brief mention, he also leaves other important aspects of the NSA’s history unaddressed, including the tumultuous years in the mid-1970s when it was investigated by the Senate’s Church Committee for decades of illegal spying; Trailblazer, the nearly decade-long failure to modernize the agency; and the NSA’s increasingly important role in cyberwarfare and its implications in future wars.

Where does all this leave us? Aid concludes that the biggest problem facing the agency is not the fact that it’s drowning in untranslated, indecipherable, and mostly unusable data, problems that the troubled new modernization plan, Turbulence, is supposed to eventually fix. “These problems may, in fact, be the tip of the iceberg,” he writes. Instead, what the agency needs most, Aid says, is more power. But the type of power to which he is referring is the kind that comes from electrical substations, not statutes. “As strange as it may sound,” he writes, “one of the most urgent problems facing NSA is a severe shortage of electrical power.” With supercomputers measured by the acre and estimated $70 million annual electricity bills for its headquarters, the agency has begun browning out, which is the reason for locating its new data centers in Utah and Texas. And as it pleads for more money to construct newer and bigger power generators, Aid notes, Congress is balking.

The issue is critical because at the NSA, electrical power is political power. In its top-secret world, the coin of the realm is the kilowatt. More electrical power ensures bigger data centers. Bigger data centers, in turn, generate a need for more access to phone calls and e-mail and, conversely, less privacy. The more data that comes in, the more reports flow out. And the more reports that flow out, the more political power for the agency.

Rather than give the NSA more money for more power—electrical and political—some have instead suggested just pulling the plug. “NSA can point to things they have obtained that have been useful,” Aid quotes former senior State Department official Herbert Levin, a longtime customer of the agency, “but whether they’re worth the billions that are spent, is a genuine question in my mind.”

Based on the NSA’s history of often being on the wrong end of a surprise and a tendency to mistakenly get the country into, rather than out of, wars, it seems to have a rather disastrous cost-benefit ratio. Were it a corporation, it would likely have gone belly-up years ago. The September 11 attacks are a case in point. For more than a year and a half the NSA was eavesdropping on two of the lead hijackers, knowing they had been sent by bin Laden, while they were in the US preparing for the attacks. The terrorists even chose as their command center a motel in Laurel, Maryland, almost within eyesight of the director’s office. Yet the agency never once sought an easy-to-obtain FISA warrant to pinpoint their locations, or even informed the CIA or FBI of their presence.

But pulling the plug, or even allowing the lights to dim, seems unlikely given President Obama’s hawkish policies in Afghanistan. However, if the war there turns out to be the train wreck many predict, then Obama may decide to take a much closer look at the spy world’s most lavish spender. It is a prospect that has some in the Library of Babel very nervous. “It was a great ride while it lasted,” said one.

NSA vs USA Total surveillance zooms-in on Americans

Ever evolving high-tech gadgets and the Internet have given Big Brother a peep hole into the lives of everyday Americans. Now, without the hassle of planting bugs or breaking and entering, the government can monitor virtually anything it wants.

Reports of 'Meteor' Blazing Across New Zealand Skies- April 2, 2012

"Reports have come in of a bright light seen moving over the sky in Wellington and Christchurch.

WeatherWatch says it has been inundated with reports of a spectacular meteor over central New Zealand this evening.

Eyewitnesses from Wellington and Christchurch are talking of a fireball that rushed across the sky leaving a large trail behind it."

Remembering the First Operation Babylift Flight

During the collapse of South Vietnam in 1975, President Gerald Ford ordered the evacuation of Vietnamese orphans from Saigon in the face of a massive North Vietnamese offensive. This mission, coined Operation Babylift, began April 4, 1975, and evacuated more than 3,000 orphans throughout the month.

On the first available plane, ground crews loaded 250 small children along with a staff of volunteers and nurses onto a C-5A Galaxy transport. There were 36 female members of the Defense Attaché Office (DAO) Saigon on board to serve as escorts, at least five of whom were Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) employees.

Approximately 12 minutes after takeoff, the locks on the rear cargo door of the C-5 failed, and the aft pressure door, part of the loading ramp, and the cargo door, blew off, severely damaging the flight controls in the tail. The pilots attempted an emergency landing at Tan Son Nhut airbase, but the plane crashed in a marsh two miles short of the runway. The impact crushed the cargo deck, where almost all of the orphans were kept. There were 138 people killed in the crash, including 78 children and 35 DAO personnel.

DIA’s Celeste Brown, Vivienne Clark, Dorothy Curtiss, Joan Pray and Doris Watkins died that day supporting Operation Babylift. It was the single largest loss of life in DIA’s history until the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. “The fourth day of April, 1975. I’ll never forget it,” said MG Homer Smith, former U.S. defense attaché in Saigon. “It was the longest day of my life … I recall my [executive officer] telling me, coming in and saying, ‘Boss, we have a disaster. The C-5 just crashed out toward the air base.’ And you could look out and you could see the smoke coming … We set up a morgue over at the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital and brought bodies over there. We had a few survivors. They were taken to the hospital. It was a shattering, shattering experience.”

The sacrifice of these women brings honor to their country, to their colleagues at DIA, and to themselves and their families. Their names are listed on the Patriot's Memorial among the other DIA patriots who died contributing to our national security.

On the anniversary of the crash this April, DIA is reminded of the commitment, dedication and ultimate sacrifice of these women whose legacy continues to inspire those serving today.

Public opinion and foreign policy: the Nixon administration and the pursuit of peace with honor in Vietnam.

Long after the Communist takeover, American academics still battle over how and why the United States lost the Vietnam War.(1) Adherents of the conventional" school maintain that U.S. policy makers mistakenly imposed a global conception of communism upon a localized, post-colonial civil war.(2) "Revisionists" argue that intervention was sound, moral, and necessary to the interests of both South Vietnam and the United States.(3) Both sides place great importance on the role of public opinion when essaying the justification and execution of that war. For conventional critics, the problem is one of false consciousness, created not only out of general anti-communism, but also out of deception and manipulation of the public by presidents Johnson and Nixon.(4) Revisionists contend that a more consistent and effective public relations effort on Nixon's part, and avoidance of the Watergate scandal, probably would have preserved South Vietnam's independence.(5)

This debate continues in no small part because of its relevance to an even more fundamental disagreement over interventionism and the public's role in American foreign policy. Analyses of survey data have linked opinions about the war to attitudes toward the commitment of U.S. troops abroad.(6) Those subscribing to the conventional school presumably would oppose most if not all hypothetical interventions as variations upon the unhappy Vietnam experience, while those taking the revisionist view would favor future interventions if government could effectively employ the military and better cope with dissent.

If Nixon meant to shape public opinion on his Vietnam policy, public opinion in turn placed real constraints on what forms that policy could take. War weariness had already set in by the time Nixon took the oath of office in 1969. The president wanted to keep U.S. forces in South Vietnam until an honorable withdrawal could be achieved, regardless of domestic dissent. He had to cope with dwindling support for an intensified effort, and incessant demands for a negotiated settlement. Somehow Nixon had to bring public opinion, the news media, Congress, and the bureaucracy along as he walked a tightrope between a negotiated settlement and unilateral withdrawal.(7) Nixon's task was made all the more difficult by his employment of the seemingly contradictory methods of troop reduction and applications of intense firepower to coerce the North Vietnamese to accept what he considered honorable peace terms. This article analyzes at least some of the ways he sought to shape that support while pursuing complex and somewhat contradictory objectives.

President Nixon, of course, was hardly unaware of the need to build public opinion in favor of his policy. At times, Nixon proclaimed a willingness to act contrary to the polls, and acted accordingly. The question remains of how much he led or followed public opinion. The dominant wisdom on the role of public opinion in foreign policy formulation through the Vietnam period, the so-called Almond-Lippmann thesis,(8) was that the public could be dismissed or led by elites. However, recent research has confirmed that popular opinion has coherence, structure, and impacts on foreign policy decision makers in a reciprocal relationship.(9) Using archival evidence, this inquiry contributes to our new understanding of the role played by public opinion in foreign policy formulation along the lines of other recent case studies.(10)

Seeking to legitimate a rather complex policy,(11) the administration took to polling as an instrumental and symbolic means of achieVing its objectives.(12) Polls serve at least two important purposes, one by disclosing the distribution of opinion in response to possible policy options, and another by supplying ammunition for the public relations task of building and maintaining support for actual policies. I begin my analysis of Nixon's legitimation efforts with an examination of how the administration used polls both to measure and to build public support for its Vietnam policy. I then consider briefly how the White House used polls to minimize congressional "Interference" with its Vietnam policy, and how the administration relied on polls to undermine the opposition.

Using Polling to Shape Policy and Public Opinion

From the outset, Nixon was concerned that he not appear to be "pandering" to popular sentiment. He made that position clear when Roscoe Drummond of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that if Nixon didn't get out of Vietnam he would be a victim of popular outrage just as Johnson had. Nixon instructed John Ehrlichman to tell Drummond that regardless of the polls "`RN will do what his long experience and conviction tells him is right.'"(13) Nonetheless, Nixon hired polling experts and commissioned private polls to give the White House a sophisticated capacity for public opinion analysis that Jacobs and Shapiro conclude was of unprecedented scope.(14) Public or private, favorable information the White House gleaned from polls was promoted to convey to unsuspecting elites and the public the extent of support for Nixon's policies. After all, Nixon understood the "complete revolution in the means of affecting the public" and the consequent importance of television.(15) On February 3, 1971, Nixon assigned Chief of Staff and former advertising executive H. R. Haldeman to sit in on all critical foreign policy meetings to bring consideration of congressional and public relations factors in the decision-making process.(16) Polling was used to gauge the receptivity of the public to Nixon's Vietnam initiatives, to legitimate policies, and to verify when its military and diplomatic strategy required adjustment.(17)

Figure One shows the results of some of Nixon's public opinion intelligence gathering operation. Using poll reports assembled by the White House, we chart the public's approval of Nixon's handling of the Vietnam War as measured by Gallup and the White House's private public opinion firm the Opinion Research Corporation (ORC).(18) Four points of convergence of the disapprove/approve trend lines mark crisis periods for Nixon's Vietnam policy: prior to the unveiling of the Vietnamization program; before the military incursion into Cambodia; during the South Vietnamese invasion of Laos; and at the time of the North Vietnamese 1972 Spring Offensive. In each case Nixon responded by escalating the military pressure spasmodically, all the while offering concessions to the position of his adversaries at home and in Vietnam. We examine in depth below how Nixon addressed public opinion at each of these points.

Needing to build public support behind his gradual withdrawal plan, Nixon delivered a major televised address to outline Vietnamization on November 3, 1969.(19) Scheduled between two anti-war moratoriums, Nixon pleaded for the support and patience of "the great silent majority of my fellow Americans."(20) He drew a sharp distinction between the decent and proud majority and the "vocal minority" of elitists and isolationists that would bring global triumph to the "forces of totalitarianism." The power of these rhetorical distinctions was bolstered by efforts of White House officials to probe Nixon's Vietnam support in ways that would emphasize favorable sentiment among the "silent majority."(21) Top aides tried to turn some polls,to the president's advantage by proposing loaded questions to pollsters.(22) Several speeches by Vice President Spiro Agnew critical of the national news media provided staffers with an additional avenue to explore through polling.(23) Thus, Dwight Chapin wrote H. R. Haldeman later in November, seeking his input on the wording of six questions for possible submission to Gallup, all pertaining to media bias against the president's Vietnam policy. Haldeman excised one question and changed others to sharpen points the administration wanted made. Thus transformed, one question asked whether Agnew's recent "criticism of bias" in network reporting and pundit commentary was "justified."(24) Chapin also sent Haldeman a statement by Gallup to the press insisting that the polling firm wrote its own questions, not the White House.(25)

Similarly, on November 18, 1969 a memorandum was sent through White House channels to instruct David Derge, the administration's private pollster, to include in his next poll the following text: "There has been considerable discussion surrounding President Nixon's speech on Vietnam Monday night. Criticisms have been made by some commentators who disagree with the President in his views."(26) Derge found that 63 percent of respondents agreed with the president's views on Vietnam, while only 15 percent concurred with the commentators. These poll results provided the administration with ammunition to use against its critics. Along with the twelve-percent increase in polls of Nixon's handling of Vietnam since the Vietnamization (or Silent Majority) speech, the administration was able to convey to audiences at home and abroad the public's view that the problem with the war was not in Vietnam, but with powerful institutions representing minority preferences in the United States.(27) The White House established a plan to distribute this information to the media and Congress, all tied in to the "Silent Majority."(28)

Polling confirmed the wisdom of the Silent Majority appeal when the White House announcement of the withdrawal program and the Vietnamization speech brought Nixon's approval rating for handling Vietnam to its highest point of his first term.(29) He and his advisers, however, harbored no illusions that this support would remain fixed in face of developments on the battlefield. As an example of administration sensitivity to public opinion, Kissinger wrote an extensive summary of a public television special news program "Report from Saigon" aired on January 12, 1970. Nixon scribbled on Kissinger's memo that it was important the United States build up ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) strength and morale, and that the administration be prepared "to handle" any North Vietnamese offensive that Inlight be in the cards during the coming months.(30) He also instructed Kissinger to inform Secretary of State William Rogers to "prepare public opinion for the possibility of an enemy offensive in Vietnam and of some attendant reverses."(31)

Understandably, both the troop withdrawals and the idea of An honorable peace were popular. Nixon's predicament stemmed from the impossibility of manipulating the pace of withdrawals as a diplomatic instrument. After all, as Kissinger warned in a September 10, 1969 memorandum to the president, troop withdrawals "will become like salted peanuts to the American public: the more troops come home, the more will be demanded."(32) Moreover, the boost that Nixon earned on his handling of Vietnam rating began to deteriorate after January 1970 as worsening conditions in Cambodia and Laos seemed to place the president's plan in jeopardy.(33) After all, Nixon had made it clear that future troop withdrawals would be based on the following criteria: progress in the negotiations, success in training the South Vietnamese armed forces, and reductions in the level of enemy activity.(34) On April 20, 1970, Nixon noted that enemy activity had "substantially increased," and that the negotiations were going poorly. Nevertheless, he announced that an additional 150,000 military personnel would be withdrawn over the next twelve months.(35)

Bold military action was the president's only means of giving the North Vietnamese an incentive to negotiate. The administration had some basis to support the idea of an aggressive move, a November/December 1969 internal poll found that 58 percent of the sample thought Nixon's stand with the North Vietnamese was not tough enough, while 28 percent thought it about right, and only 3 percent concluded it was too tough (the remaining 11 percent had no opinion).(36) Contradictory opinion soundings doubtless also entered into the deliberations, however, as a July 1969 poll had found 46 percent against bombing North Vietnamese sanctuaries in Cambodia and Laos if Hanoi refused reasonable peace proposals with only 35 percent in favor.(37) Respondents, of course, were not aware of the secret bombing of Cambodia begun in March 1969 (which continued for fourteen months). Needing a decisive military measure to improve the prospects for Vietnamization and to coerce the North Vietnamese to negotiate, Nixon announced that U.S. and South Vietnamese troops had crossed into Cambodia on April 30, 1970, just ten days after his declaration regarding troop withdrawals.

White House polling revealed considerable support for the Cambodian incursion, though Congress and college campuses were inflamed. A June 1970 Derge/ORC poll found 58 percent of respondents believing sending U.S. troops into Cambodia was the right move, with 27 percent saying it was wrong.(38) The poll also uncovered a good deal of skepticism among the public regarding South Vietnam's capabilities and contributions to its own defense, with 68 percent doubting if the South Vietnamese were carrying their fair share. A policy recommendation to counter this sentiment followed the presentation of these results, suggesting that "(f)ull publicity . . . be given to any successes achieved by the South Vietnamese in the field."(39) Further, owing to concerns about the credibility of the administration's Vietnamization program, Gordon Strachan advocated contrasting the president's performance in keeping to a timetable of troop withdrawals for Vietnam and Cambodia with his critics' doubts of his sincerity.(40)

In the wake of the Cambodian invasion, the White House disclosed internal poll results to convey the perception that there was "`heavy'" (65 percent) public support for Nixon's action. It also mobilized an "Independent" lobbying group called "Tell It to Hanoi" to place pro-Nixon ads in newspapers and on radio, while Haldeman spread the poll results around by calling "`opinion maker types.'"(41) Results from the established opinion survey companies were not as encouraging however, with Gallup reporting 50 percent approval. Moreover, Wells relates that some administration officials were disturbed by evidence from the Harris poll of widespread public questioning of the operation.(42)

We do not know whether White House operatives divulged the poll questions when they passed word that two-thirds of the public supported the president's Cambodia policy, but an examination of question wording is in order. David Derge asked interviewees in Philadelphia: "Do you support the president's action to end the war in Vietnam, to avoid getting into a war in Cambodia, to protect US troops?"(43) By framing the poll question with the very language used by the administration to "spin" the operation, the White House received the support desired, though the high level of approval was the product of a biased survey instrument. Manufacturing of support in this fashion thus became an essential component of the White House public relations battle with critics in Congress and elsewhere who argued that the people wanted a more rapid end to the war than the president considered prudent.

Other, more conventional methods of public lobbying were used by the Nixon White House, including publicizing those activities of opponents that would benefit the administration. For instance, when Nixon was faced by hecklers or violent protest, so much the better to "crank it up," and make it a major story.(44) Appeals to the silent majority's dislike of war protesters--and trying to define the anti-war movement by its most radical elements--was but a small payoff from the insights provided by the White House polling operation.(45)

Any good news provided by the polls on Cambodia was encumbered by Nixon's strategically counterproductive decision to limit the incursion to twenty-one miles and a duration of sixty days. A broad range of former administration personnel and observers contend that domestic political pressure forced the president to curtail the extent of the invasion and thus cripple its intended effect.(46) In the summary of his "Report on Cambodia," Kissinger admitted that a maximum effort "was unacceptable to the American people."(47) The White House devoted much public relations energy persuading Congress and the public that Cambodia was limited in scope, an aid not a hindrance to the withdrawal program, and popular with the "silent majority." Despite administration reiteration of the favorable statistics regarding casualties and troop withdrawals attributed to the incursion, the White House remained concerned that polls continued to show the public dubious about the Cambodian operation.(48) Moreover, adverse domestic reaction to the administration's strategy in Cambodia limited U.S. flexibility in subsequent efforts at coercive diplomacy.

On February 1, 1971, Haldeman noted projections that the president's approval would drop over the coming months and suggested that Nixon not respond to minor criticism "but engage in large scale symbolic events such as the operations in Cambodia, the Paris negotiations, and troop withdrawals."(49) Haldeman knew at the time of the planning for an ARVN invasion of Laos which began on February 7. Unlike Cambodia, the South Vietnamese would have to prove themselves with minimal American support. In part, if successful, Laos would demonstrate the effectiveness of Vietnamization. Crucial, however, is the fact that owing to congressional and public pressure against escalation, Nixon could not insure the success of the operation by committing U.S. ground and close air support. The results of the operations were especially discouraging.(50)

Another instance of public opinion constraining the vigor of Nixon's efforts to compel North Vietnam occurred six months after Laos. Nixon told Kissinger to implement an attack north of the Demilitarized Zone as a "protective reaction," instilling in the North Vietnamese the fear that Nixon might do more if he did not get what he wanted. Revisionist critics always chide Lyndon Johnson for tying the hands of the military in cowering fear of anti-war opinion. While his uniformed advisers advocated five to ten days of bombing Nixon backed down owing to public sentiment.(51) Haldeman's diary entry offers refutation of the claim that a paroxysm of violence could have ended the war more favorably, recording Nixon's regret that "he was sorry that we hadn't been able to actually end the war directly, but ... there really was no way to end it--it was doomed always just to trickle out the way it is, and that's now become clear."(52)

In the aftermath of the ill-fated ARVN invasion of Laos, the administration received some of its lowest poll ratings ever. This was an especially busy time of internal polling. ORC took a total of ten polls on Nixon's handling of Vietnam from March 3 to June 21, 1971. On March 30, 1971, Haldeman predicted that "the basic turning point" in presidential support would be achieved the next week with the announcement that no more draftees would serve in Vietnam coupled with another increment of troop withdrawals.(53) Even as his poll numbers began to improve by late spring of 1971, Nixon confided to Haldeman and Kissinger that "our thin thread with the American people" had been broken by Laos, and concluded "it's going to be very hard to put that together again."(54) Nonetheless, the administration made efforts to assure the public that the war was winding down. For example, the White House made a great deal about the absence of U.S. casualties in Vietnam during the week of September 13-19, 1972.(55) Meanwhile, Nixon's domestic latitude to coerce concessions from the North Vietnamese remained limited.

The revisionist model of how to end the war was provided by Nixon in his response to the North Vietnamese 1972 Spring Offensive. Sandwiched between Nixon's historic trips to Beijing and Moscow, the Spring Offensive of March 30, 1972, came perilously close to ending the war on Hanoi's terms and raising White House concerns about Nixon's re-election. Given intelligence warnings of this impending offensive, it would have been prudent to slow the pace of troop withdrawals until the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) threat could be met. But despite clear indications a major NVA strike was coming, the administration concluded that public opinion needed to be placated with continued withdrawals. Moreover, the administration began 1972 by offering new peace terms and exposing the fact that Henry Kissinger had been conducting secret negotiations with North Vietnamese representatives in Paris.(56) By taking these actions Nixon increased his domestic maneuvering room somewhat, but courted disaster by leaving South Vietnam and the remaining U.S. forces vulnerable to attack. The Spring Offensive placed the president between the proverbial rock and hard place. If the United States stood by, South Vietnam was likely to crumble; if Nixon authorized the necessary massive counterattack, the Moscow summit and his domestic support could evaporate. In addition to these considerations, Nixon did not believe it diplomatically acceptable to go to Moscow if Hanoi, with the help of Soviet arms, stood ready to triumph against America's ally in Southeast Asia.

Nixon responded to the threat to South Vietnam's survival with a massive military response. In Haldeman's words: "We're doing virtually everything we can do, short of putting American troops in, which we won't do."(57) Initially, the White House was optimistic that close air support and heavy bombing would be sufficient to reverse Hanoi's gains. With the Soviets still enthusiastic about the upcoming summit and the domestic scene relatively quiet, Haldeman wrote in his diary (April 12, 1972) that Nixon saw an opportunity to "go all out to win" the war while public opinion was "somewhat toned down."(58) The same could not be applied to the North Vietnamese offensive, as on May 1, the NVA captured the northern provincial capital of Quang Tri. The White House contemplated a truly monumental response: unprecedented bombing of Hanoi and the mining of the North's principal port, Haiphong. These provocative acts posed the risk that the Kremlin would cancel the upcoming summit. Internal polling informed the White House that such a prospect could be politically disastrous with 60 percent of respondents believing the president should go ahead with the summit despite the North Vietnamese assault.(59) Nixon decided to proceed with the bombing and mining anyway and to wait to see Moscow's reaction. Meanwhile, he also authorized an opinion poll to be taken fight after his televised speech announcing these steps as part of the public relations campaign to generate broad-based support for his aggressive tactics.(60)

The Nixon administration moved quickly to deflect congressional and public opposition to the Haiphong mining by releasing its own very favorable polls first to shape opinion formation. After all, Nixon claimed that the public, "`hear[s] the poll results and that makes an impact on them.'"(61) As long as his actions halted the North Vietnamese advance and didn't threaten relations with the Soviets and Chinese, Nixon could be confident that the public would support his policy of escalation.(62) As Figure One shows, Nixon's response to the Spring Offensive began the climb in approval for his handling of Vietnam that peaked with the signing of the Pan's Accords. Revisionists would be wise to remember that before he could deliver on such bellicose threats (which Nixon had delivered numerous times before(63)) the president had to assuage public opinion by reducing the American ground presence in South Vietnam to a negligible number, and pull off the diplomatic feat of separating the Vietnam conflict from Cold War competition.

His masterful handling of U.S. relations with China and the Soviet Union, coupled with his successful response to the Spring Offensive doubtless contributed to Nixon's impressive re-election victory. Yet, Just one month after his electoral triumph Nixon learned from White House commissioned polls that public patience on Vietnam was running out. A December 5, 1972 ORC poll revealed that only 30 percent approved (55 percent disapproved and 15 percent had no opinion) of a "proposal ... that the U.S. should continue military operations until North Vietnam agrees to a settlement that gives the U.S. and South Vietnam everything they want." Further, 44 percent approved while 39 percent disapproved (17 percent no opinion) of settlement terms that included an end to U.S. ground and aerial involvement, a cease-fire, supervised elections, "but North Vietnamese troops will continue to occupy those areas of South Vietnam they now control."(64) The proposal outlined in the poll query mirrored closely the terms of the Pans Accords signed eight weeks later, but by permitting NVA troops to remain in the South it did not bear much resemblance to conditions once considered necessary for South Vietnam's survival.(65)

Irrespective of Nixon's re-election, the lack of public support for continued military involvement in Vietnam would be given voice by the newly elected 93rd Congress. Time to secure a settlement was running out, if as anticipated, Congress(66) came to Washington and cut off funding for the war. Thus, the administration began to contemplate a resumption of heavy bombing to compel Hanoi off its post-election path of intransigence and to persuade Saigon to accept Nixon's definition of honorable peace terms.(67) Disagreeing with Henry Kissinger's proposal that the president go on TV to announce his decision to begin bombing, Nixon, Haldeman, and Special Counsel to the President Charles Colson argued there were limits to going to the well of public opinion and that "[y]ou can't rally the people again."(68) Instead, the Christmas bombing was begun with minimal publicity, nevertheless accompanied by the attendant congressional and editorial outrage and public skepticism.

Whether Nixon achieved "peace with honor" through the Pan's Accords ins a contentious question.(69) It remain that cannot be answered here is clear, how ever, that the Nixon administration gradually abandoned all negotiating planks save retaining the RVN government of Nguyen Van Thieu, an achievement of dubious merit given the North Vietnamese army's success against the ARVN when it had the support of a half million U.S. troops.(70) The continued presence of North Vietnamese troops in the South, coupled with the Saigon government's weakness, lends support to the thesis that the Pans Accords provided solely the fig leaf cover for a "decent interval."(71) Nixon and Kissinger maintain that all other concessions were made as early as October 1970, accordingly only North Vietnamese intransigence delayed an honorable peace.(72) Yet, the White House solicited opinion soundings on what a prospective settlement should look like. For example, on October 23, 1972, ORC produced results showing 41 percent approving a peace agreement leaving North Vietnam in control of areas held since the 1972 invasion (34 percent disapproved, 25 percent no opinion). A similar poll six days later found 36 percent approval, 43 percent disapproval, and 21 percent with no opinion. Other questions in this series of surveys revealed a willingness to abandon Thieu (40 percent, with 28 percent disapproving, 32 percent no opinion), wide approval for a settlement that included some of the terms actually contained in the Paris Accords (including the tripartite election commission, the National Council on Reconciliation and Concord), and 49 percent disapproval of an agreement that led to a Communist takeover.(73) Therefore, despite protestations to the contrary, the pervasive attention to public opinion measurement confirms that Vietnam policy was not made in the White House in response to international conditions, but instead the policy to salvage honor required persistent efforts to legitimate policy and manufacture an image of public support.

Polling and Congress.

From the start, Congress was an integral component of the Nixon administration's public opinion strategy. Not only did the White House try to prevent anti-war legislation from emerging in either chamber, it tried to use evidence of public support to persuade members to stay with the Vietnamization plan and not accept what the administration considered congressionally inspired surrender. Nixon's lieutenants used public opinion polling information for three broad purposes when dealing with Congress. First, they believed Congress both reflected and influenced public opinion. Second, they used polls to persuade members to support the president's Vietnam policy. Third, Nixon himself threatened anti-war members that he would "go to the people" if their legislative efforts threatened his peace with honor plan.

Following Nixon's move into Cambodia, White House assistant Charles Colson gained the impression that the president's standing in Congress had improved. In a September 9, 1970, memorandum to Haldeman, Colson observed that senators now had a real respect for Nixon's leadership that was absent before Cambodia. Colson attributed the newly sympathetic attitudes of several senators, including George McGovern (D-SD) and Mark Hatfield (R-OR), on the end-the-war amendment to "the fact that notwithstanding several months of enormous abuse in the press, the President's standing in the public opinion polls remains very high."(74)

As congressional committees debated legislation sponsored by John Sherman Cooper (R-KY) and Frank Church (D-ID) to compel the United States out of Cambodia, Nixon ordered a White House poll showing support for his actions brought to bear in the debate.(75) A similar, carefully coordinated lobbying plan was implemented following Nixon's announcement of the mining of Haiphong harbor. The White House public relations machine hand-delivered copies of ORC's poll on the mining to the wire services, networks, and major newspapers. In his memorandum providing the details of the poll's distribution to Haldeman, Gordon Strachan noted that Colson believed mass distribution Of the release should be delayed until the results surfaced in media reports in order "to protect ORC's credibility." Preferring to have this poll information disseminated as quickly as possible on Capitol Hill and elsewhere, Haldeman scribbled on the margin of Strachan's Monday memo: "do it Tues--whether it plays or not." He also jotted down additional distribution instructions to various assistants, including that Ken Clawsen have a senator "accuse press of deliberately overlooking it."(76)

Finally, as evidence of his willingness to invoke the prospect of a "who lost Vietnam" debate, Nixon warned prominent Democrats that if anti-war legislation "tied his hands" and let South Vietnam fall, "he would have no choice but to go directly to the people ... taking on Congress and blaming them for this situation."(77)

Undermining Opponents

Because the administration considered the media a potent force in the formation of public opinion, it actively attacked media bias, and cited opinion polls to identify the Fourth Estate as a radical minority. On occasion, even before poll or media reaction was at hand, the White House planned a number of pre-emptive strikes designed to intimidate the press from negatively influencing the public's reaction to scheduled events. For example, concurrent with the November 1969 Silent Majority speech, the administration orchestrated a public relations campaign replete with letters, an advertisement, and "100 vicious dirty calls to The New York Times and The Washington Post about their editorials."(78) Later, in December 1970, when Haldeman learned that certain correspondents had conspired to make the president's press conference "tougher," he and other aids mobilized the White House's "independent" attack group.(79)

Perceptions that the media were unalterably biased against the Nixon administration pervaded the White House. There was concern that Nixon was not given credit for keeping his promises on Vietnam, and that the media produced negative coverage about Cambodia and Laos. In a conversation with then-Democrat Treasury Secretary John Connally, Haldeman admitted the depths of White House preoccupation with polling. He recorded in his diary the White House feeling "that we should meet each problem as it's shown in the polls, and worry about how the statistics play and so forth." Connally, on the other hand, "thinks it's a mistake to worry about the bits and pieces, that we overreact and worry too much." Haldeman dismissed the thrust of Connally's critique, attributing the Treasury Secretary's complacence about polls to his party affiliation. According to Haldeman, as a Democrat Connally was accustomed to having the press with him, while the White House lacked that luxury.(80) Indeed, White House officials so distrusted the motives of the media that speech writer Bill Safire predicted Nixon would get minimal attention and credit as the peacemaker when a settlement was reached.(81)

To the administration, declines in polling trends could just as easily be blamed on media coverage as public exhaustion. For example, as Nixon's numbers declined in April 1971, Haldeman reminisced about all events since the last poll that could be responsible. Because it had been a good period for the president, with the exception of heavy news coverage of a Vietnam Veterans' anti-war demonstration, Haldeman concluded that the media's treatment "is the cause, so we've got to see if somehow we can't make the media the issue."(82)

Nixon believed that by hitting hard at domestic critics, as when Haldeman accused anti-war members of Congress of aiding and abetting the enemy, his bargaining position with the North Vietnamese improved.(83) Similarly, Agnew's fusillades against the media and anti-war movement were part of the administration's effort to create the image of broad-based popular support for its Vietnam policy. To threaten recalcitrant members of Congress with popular retribution, the administration generated radio spots, recall petitions, and wrote speeches for delivery on the floor criticizing the media.(84) Dovish senators up for re-election in 1970 were to be "hit hard." The "aiding and abetting" line was to be used against Democrats who exercised the temerity of undercutting the president during the 1972 Spring Offensive.(85) In all, symbolic polling was applied in a negative sense to cajole the media into offering more sympathetic coverage, to scare members of Congress that there were political risks to challenging Nixon on Vietnam, and to reinforce the perception that opponents of the president's Vietnam program were part of a vocal minority hostile to the values of the silent majority.


Unlike his predecessors of the post-World War II era, Nixon could not rely on what John Mueller termed followership to build public support sufficient to secure his goals.(86) Rather, public opinion and policy-makers interacted in a complex, two-way fashion. Yes, the White House used symbolic polling to maximize its freedom of maneuver in trying to achieve peace with honor. At the same time, however, its public opinion intelligence capacity kept the administration fully aware of the limits imposed by the public's war weariness. While Nixon was certainly not a slavish adherent to what the polls indicated, whenever he took aggressive actions public opinion constrained his ambition. In several respects then, the Vietnam War became principally a public relations problem for the Nixon administration; Nixon succeeded in the battle to buy time, but failed to build sufficient political support at home so he could fulfill his initial requirements for peace with honor in Vietnam.

In August 1971 Kissinger and Haldeman were discussing the upcoming presidential election in South Vietnam and the grave U.S. domestic political problems Thieu's unopposed candidacy presented. Kissinger began to reflect on how discouraging the whole war had been, and wishing that if there were only one more dry season for effective military campaigning the opponents would finally come to realize that the U.S. was winning. Haldeman wrote in his diary of Kissinger's musings:

This, of course, is the same line he's used for the last two years, over

and over, and I guess what all of Johnson's advisors used with him, to keep

the thing escalating. I'm sure they really believe it at the time, but it's

amazing how it sounds like a broken record.(87)

In the end, Nixon's requirements for an honorable peace had to succumb to the public's reluctance to sink more resources into a losing investment. The evidence presented here demonstrates that no amount of public opinion polling or manipulation would give the president the political support to alter this equation.


(1.) For reviews of Vietnam historiography, see Gary R. Hess, "The Unending Debate: Historians and the Vietnam War," Diplomatic History 18 (Spring 1994): 239-64; Thomas G. Paterson, "Historical Memory and Illusive Victories," Diplomatic History 12 (Winter 1988): 1-18; Robert A. Divine, "Vietnam Reconsidered," Diplomatic History 12 (Winter 1988): 79-93. Nixon foreign policy revisionists, who differ with the prevailing wisdom that Nixon deserves high marks for his international achievements as they criticize his domestic leadership, must be distinguished from Vietnam War revisionists who praise Nixon's approach to ending the war. See Joan Hoff, "A Revisionist View of Nixon's Foreign Policy," Presidential Studies Quarterly 26, no. 1 (Winter 1996): 107-29.

(2.) David Halberstam, The Making of a Quagmire: America and Vietnam during the Kennedy Era (New York: Knopf, 1964); Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Bitter Heritage: Vietnam and American Democracy, rev. ed. (Greenwich, CT: Fawcett, 1968); Frances Fitzgerald, Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam (New York: Random House, 1972); David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest (New York: Fawcett Publishing, 1972). For our purposes, we consider all works conventional that, as historian Robert Divine has observed, "shared a strong distaste for American intervention and a fervent belief that U.S. policy was seriously mistaken." Divine, "Vietnam Reconsidered," p. 81.

(3.) For example, see "America Now: A Failure of Nerve?--A Symposium," Commentary 60, 1 (July 1975): 16-87; Charles Horner, "America Five Years After Defeat," Commentary 69, 4 (April 1980): 50-8; Norman Podhoretz, "Making the World Safe for Communism," Commentary 61, 4 (April 1976): 33-41. For reviews of this literature, see Walter LaFeber, "This War, The Next War, and the New Revisionists," Democracy 1 (January 1981): 272-82; and Marilyn Young, "Revisionist Revised: The Case of Vietnam," Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Newsletter 10, no. 2 (1979): 1-10.

(4.) Accounts that provide indications of this sentiment include: David W. Levy, The Debate Over Vietnam (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991); Larry Berman, Lyndon Johnson's War: The Road to Stalemate in Vietnam (New York: Norton, 1989); George C. Herring, America's Longest War (New York: John Wiley, 1979); George McT. Kahin, Intervention: How America Became Involved in Vietnam (New York: Knopf, 1986); Kathleen J. Turner, Lyndon Johnson's Dual War: Vietnam and the Press (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1985). An early work of synthesis that has enduring relevance is: Leslie Gelb with Richard K. Betts, The Irony of Vietnam: The System Worked (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 1975).

(5.) Along with others, this is the position of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. See Richard Nixon, No More Vietnams (New York: Avon Books, 1985), pp. 174, 181-2, and Henry Kissinger, Years of Upheaval (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 1982), pp. 326-7. An early proponent of this view is Sir Robert Thompson, who argues that after the 1972 Christmas bombing the United States had won the war. See W. Scott Thompson and Donaldson D. Frizzell, The Lessons of Vietnam (New York: Crane, Russak, 1977), p. 105.

(6.) Eugene Wittkopf, Faces of Internationalism: Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1990); Ole R. Holsti and James N. Rosenau, American Leadership in World Affairs (Boston, MA: Allen & Unwin, 1984); Ole R. Holsti and James N. Rosenau, "Consensus Lost. Consensus Regained?: Foreign Policy Beliefs of American Leaders, 1976-1980," International Studies Quarterly 30, no. 4 (1986): 375-409; Also see Ole R. Holsti, "Public Opinion and Foreign Policy: Challenges to the Almond-Lippmann Consensus," International Studies Quarterly, 36, no. 4 (1992): 439-66, esp. p. 449. William LeoGrande, "Did the Public Matter? The Impact of Opinion on Congressional Support for Ronald Reagan's Nicaragua Policy," in Public Opinion in U.S. Foreign Policy: The Controversy Over Contra Aid, ed. Richard Sobel (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1993), pp. 167-89, esp. p. 173 and 178.

(7.) This relates to the literature on international bargaining that views negotiations as encompassing the Chief of Government (COG), the international interlocutor, and the domestic groups that must ratify any international agreement. See Robert D. Putnam, "Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two-Level Games," International Organization 42, no. 3 (1988): 427-60; and Peter B. Evans, Harold K. Jacobson, and Robert D. Putnam, eds., Double-Edged Diplomacy (Berkeley, CA: University of California, 1993).

(8.) A designation first applied by Ole It. Holsti, "Public Opinion and Foreign Policy," pp. 439-66.

(9.) Benjamin Page and Robert Y. Shapiro, The Rational Public (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992); John Aldrich, John L. Sullivan, and Eugene Borgida, "Foreign Affairs and Issue Voting: Do Presidential Candidates `Waltz Before a Blind Audience?'" American Political Science Review, 83, no. 1 (1989): 123-42; Bruce Russett, Controlling the Sword (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990), and Grasping the Democratic Peace (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993); Larry M. Bartels, "Constituency Opinion and Congressional Policy Making: The Reagan Defense Buildup," American Political Science Review 85, no. 2 (1991): 457-74. For a comprehensive review of this literature, see Holsti, "Public Opinion and Foreign Policy," 439-66. Philip J. Powlick, "The Sources of Public Opinion for American Foreign Policy Officials," International Studies Quarterly 39, no. 4 (1995): 427-51.

(10.) Ronald H. Hinckley, People, Polls, and Policymakers: American Public Opinion and National Security (New York: Lexington Books, 1992); Richard Sobel, ed., Public Opinion ill (I. S. Foreign Policy; John Mueller, Policy and Opinion in the Gulf War (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1994).

(11.) Alexander George, "Domestic Constraints on Regime Change in U.S. Foreign Policy: The Need for Policy Legitimacy," in American Foreign Policy: Theoretical Essays, ed. G. John Ikenberry (Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, 1989), pp. 583-608; Richard A. Melanson, American Foreign Policy Since the Vietnam War: The Search for Consesnus From Nixon to Clinton (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1996).

(12.) Lawrence R. Jacobs and Robert Y. Shapiro, "The Rise of Presidential Polling The Nixon White House in Historical Perspective," Public Opinion Quarterly 59, no. 2 (1995): 187; Susan Herbst, Numbered Voices: How Opinion Polling has Shaped American Politics (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1993).

(13.) Stephen E. Ambrose, Nixon Vol. 2: The Triumph of a Politician (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989), p. 280. Also see H. R. Haldeman, The Haldeman Diaries (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1994), diary entry February 3, 1969, p. 26; Jacobs and Shapiro, "The Rise of Presidential Polling," p. 183.

(14.) Jacobs and Shapiro, "The Rise of Presidential Polling," p. 165; Haldeman, Diaries, April 4, 1969, p. 49; Bruce Oudes, ed., From the President: Richard Nixon's Secret Files (New York: Harper & Row, 1989), p. 3; Melvin Small Johnson, Nixon, and the Doves (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers, 1988), p. 168.

(15.) Haldeman, Diaries, June 30, 1970, p. 178.

(16.) Ibid., February 3, 1971, p. 243.

(17.) Joan Hoff, Nixon Reconsidered (New York: Basic Books, 1994), pp. 220, 230-1.

(18.) Vietnam Invasion Poll--April 27-29, 1972, Box 350, Staff Members' Office Files, hereafter SMOF. White House Special Files, hereafter WHSF. Nixon Presidential Materials, hereafter NPM. National Archives and Records Administration, hereafter NARA, College Park, Maryland. American Institute of Public Opinion, Gallup Opinion Index (Princeton, NJ), 1969-1973. A complete set of this poll data is available from the author.

(19.) Nixon first announced troop withdrawals on June 8, 1969, during his meeting with South Vietnamese President Thieu on Midway Island.

(20.) Richard M. Nixon, "The Pursuit of Peace in Viet-Nam," Speech to the Nation, November 3, 1969, Department of State Bulletin (November 11, 1969): 437-43; quote, p. 442.

(21.) For a discussion of the "silent majority" concept and policy legitimation see Melanson, American Foreign Policy, p. 47-57.

(22.) Lawrence R. Jacobs and Robert Y. Shapiro, "The Nixon Administration and the Pollsters," Political Science Quarterly 110, no. 4 (1995-96): 519-38; Nixon was not the first president to utilize pollsters in this manner, see Lawrence R. Jacobs and Robert Y. Shapiro, "The Rise of Presidential Polling The Nixon White House in Historical Perspective," Public Opinion Quarterly 59, no. 2 (1995): 163-95; and Jacobs, "The Recoil Effect: Public Opinion and Policymaking in the U.S. and Britain," Comparative Politics 24, no. 2 (1992): 199-217.

(23.) For an overview of Agnew's efforts to intimidate the media and the anti-war movement see Small, Johnson, Nixon, pp. 189-92, and Tom Wells, The War Within: America's Battle Over Vietnam (Berkeley, CA: University of California, 1994), pp. 382-8.

(24.) Memorandum from Dwight L. Chapin to Haldeman, November 18, 1969, Gallup Poll, Box 134, H. R. Haldeman, hereafter HRH. Alpha Subject Files, SMOF, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(25.) Memorandum from Dwight L. Chapin to Haldeman, November 10, 1969, Poll File, Box 134, HRH Alpha Subject Files, SMOF, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(26.) Memorandum from Larry Higby to Jeb Magruder, November 11, 1969, Gallup Poll, Box 134, HRH, Alpha Subject Files, SMOF, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(27.) In an interview, Dwight Chapin confirmed that by providing questions to Gallup, the administration could better demonstrate public support, and "`Isolate the Vietnam protesters from the silent majority.'" From Jacobs and Shapiro, "The Nixon Administration and the Pollsters," p. 527. Thus, the Nixon administration tried to put into effect what Elisabeth Noell-Neuman later coined the "spiral of silence." As interpreted by Thomas Michael Norton-Smith, this theory proposes that "polls contribute to the creation and silencing of minority viewpoints." From Norton-Smith, "Can the Increasing Use of Public Opinion Polling Be justified?" The Midwest Quarterly 36, no. 1 (1994): 97-112; quote on p. 106.

(28.) Gallup Poll Game Plan, Gallup Poll, Box 134, FIR Haldeman, Alpha Subject Files, WHSF, SMOF, NPM, NARA. Also, memorandum from Harry Dent to the President, October 20, 1969, President's Handwriting October 16-31, 1969, Box 3, President's Office Files, hereafter POF, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(29.) The White House celebrated the results of the Silent Majority speech, one memo noting in unidentified handwriting, "Never in history has a speech rather than an event changed opinion so greatly." Gallup Poll Game Plan, Box 134, HRH Alpha Subject Files, SMOF, WHSF, NPM, NARA. Also see, Memo from Stephen Bull to Haldeman, March 27, 1970, "Relationship Between Presidential Activities and Public Approval," Box 388, HRH, SMOF, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(30.) Memo from Kissinger to Nixon, "Report from Saigon," President's Handwriting, January 1-15, 1970, Box 4, POF, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(31.) Memorandum for the Secretary of State from Henry A. Kissinger, President's Handwriting, January 16- 31, 1970, Box 5, POF, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(32.) Henry A. Kissinger, White House Years (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 1979), p. 1481. Kissinger also reports that the only time troop withdrawals were delayed owing to battlefield conditions occurred in August 1969, p. 283.

(33.) Between January and April 1970, the situation in these countries became tense- as North Vietnamese- inspired activity threatened whatever stability these nations had. For the concern these developments generated among Americans, one can examine the transcripts of presidential news conferences where Nixon was frequently asked about the dangers of heightened Communist aggression in Laos and Cambodia, For example, see "President Nixon's News Conference of March 21," Department of State Bulletin (April 6, 1970): 437-8.

(34.) Nixon, "Progress Report on Our Plan for Peace in Viet-Nam," delivered December 15, 1969, Department of State Bulletin (January 5, 1970): 1-3; p. 1.

(35.) Nixon, "A Report on Progress in Viet-Nam," delivered from San Clemente, CA, April 20, 1969, Department of State Bulletin (May 11, 1970): pp. 601-4; p. 602.

(36.)"The Public Appraises the Nixon Administration and Key Issues November/December 1969," Gordon Strachan: 1972 Campaign Materials, p. 81, Box 406, HRH, WHSF, NPM, NARA. Also, officials from Gallup advised Chapin "that the people will support a Hawkish approach if it is properly phased (sic)." Memorandum for Haldeman from Chapin, October 10, 1969, Meeting with Gallup Poll People, Poll File, Box 134, HRH Alpha Subject Files, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(37.) "The Public Appraises the Nixon Administration and Key Issues (with Particular Emphasis on Vietnam) August, 1969," Gordon Strachan: 1972 Campaign Materials, p. 52, Box 406, HRH, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(38.) "The Public Appraises the Nixon Administration, (Revised) (June 1970)," p. x, Gordon Strachan: 1972 Campaign Materials, Box 406, WHSF, HRH, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(39.) Ibid., p. xi.

(40.) Ibid., p. x.

(41.) Memorandum from Alexander Butterfield to the President, October 17, 1969, President's Handwriting October 16-31, 1969, Box 3, POF, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(42.) Wells, The War Within, pp. 423-4, notes the Harris poll provided evidence of widespread public questioning of Cambodia. In White House Years, Kissinger reports the Gallup poll revealed 50 percent approving of Cambodia (35 percent disapproving, 15 percent no opinion), p. 512.

(43.) File: A Study of Public Opinion Regarding President Nixon's 4-30-70 Announcement of his Decision on American Involvement in Cambodia #9448, Gordon Strachan: 1972 Campaign Material, Box 392, HRH, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(44.)Haldeman, Diaries, October 29, 1970, p. 205. Also, Hanoi's contact with demonstrators, and the involvement of Communist and left-wing groups in the October 15, 1969, moratorium was circulated to sympathetic ears in the media and on the Hill to discredit the anti-war movement and sympathetic members of Congress. Memorandum from Jack Caulfield to John D. Ehrlichman, October 10, 1969, President's Handwriting, October 1-15, 1969, Box 3, POF, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(45.) Small, Johnson, Nixon, pp. 162-224 chronicles the administration's efforts to defuse the antiwar movement. At the same time, though, Nixon's policy to end the war deprived his supporters of a reason to rally behind the goal of victory, Ambrose, Nixon Vol. 2, p. 302.

(46.) A position shared by Kissinger, White House Yeats, p. 507; also see Walter Isaacson, Kissinger: A Biography (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992), p. 270; Ambrose, Nixon Vol. 2, p. 537; Wells, The War Within, pp. 435, 447.

(47.) Summary of Report on Cambodia 6/30/70, President's Handwriting, June 1970, Box 6, POF, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(48.) This made Nixon all the more anxious to "make the public see" the achievements of the 1971 Laos invasion. Haldeman, Diaries, February 2, 1971, p. 245.

(49.) "Projected Gallup Approval Ratings February 1971-August 1972, February 1, 1971," Box 388, HRH, SMOF, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(50.) Ambrose, Nixon Vol. 2, pp. 419-21; Haldeman Diaries, March 23, 1971, p. 259.

(51.) Haldeman, Diaries, September 17, 1971, p. 355.

(52.) Ibid., September 19, 1971, p. 356.

(53.) Ibid., March 30, 1971, p. 262.

(54.) Ibid., May 26, 1971, p. 292.

(55.) Ibid., September 20, 1972, p. 506.

(56.) Hoff reports that Kissinger opposed making the record of these talks public: Hoff, Nixon Reconsidered, p. 119.

(57.) Haldeman, Diaries, April 10, 1972, p. 438.

(58.) Ibid., April 12, 1972, p. 439.

(59.) Ibid., May 2 and May 3, 1972, pp. 451 and 453.

(60.) Ibid., May 7, 1972, p. 456.

(61.) Jacobs and Shapiro, "The Rise of Presidential Polling," p. 188.

(62.) Comments from Tom Benham on May 9-10, 1972 Telephone Survey, Vietnam Mine Poll May 9- 10,1972 [II], Box 357, SMOF, HRH, WHSF, NPM, NARA, Tom Benham's analysis of the survey expressed concern that the threatening situation could undermine public confidence; also, from another unidentified analysis, if NV wins "(t)he consequences for President Nixon could be extremely grave ... (because) the public has been led to expect that the Communists will be held off and that Vietnamization is working." Vietnam Invasion Poll-April 27-29,1972, Box 350, SMOF, HRH, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(63.) A plan of massive American action was proposed in 1969 under the code name Duck Hook. Nixon set November 1, 1969, as the "deadline" for North Vietnam to show some indication of willingness to compromise. The ultimatum was never delivered on. For discussion, see Small, Johnson, Nixon, pp. 180-7; Similarly, at the Camp David swimming pool during the Cambodia incursion, Nixon fantasized about striking a crippling blow. This threat too never came to fruition. See Ambrose, Nixon Vol. 2, pp. 342 and 407.

(64.) Poll data from the Roper Center.

(65.) See Nixon's May 14, 1969, speech, "Peace in Viet-Nam," Department of State Bulletin (6/2/69): 457-61, where he notes that "a settlement will require the withdrawal of all non-South Vietnamese forces from South Viet-Nam," p. 459.

(66.) On this see, Haldeman, Diaries, December 6, 1972, p. 550; Andrew Z. Katz, Congress, Public Opinion, President Nixon, and the Termination of the Vietnam War, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Johns Hopkins University, 1987.

(67.) Interestingly, an internal poll completed on October 29, 1972, found 53 percent preferring that the president order a bombing halt instead of continuing with the air assault during negotiations, ORC poll conducted for the Nixon Administration, Roper Center.

(68.) Haldeman, Diaries, December 5, 1972, p. 548.

(69.) Representative negative evaluations of Nixon's Vietnam record are offered by Isaacson, Kissinger, p. 480-90; Hoff, Nixon Reconsidered. An interesting positive assessment is provided by Timothy J. Lomparis, The War Everyone Lost--and Won: America's Intervention in Viet Nam's Twin Struggles (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1984), pp. 90-104. Also see Guenter Lewy, America in Vietnam (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), pp. 190-222.

(70.) See Kissinger's reference to this problem; Kissinger, White House Years, p. 444.

(71.) Frank Snepp, A Decent Interval: An Insider's Account of Saigon's Indecent End (New York: Random House, 1977).

(72.) Kissinger, White House Years, pp. 1347-8.

(73.) Roper Center.

(74.) Memorandum for H. R. Haldeman from Charles W. Colson, September 9, 1970, President's Handwriting, September 1970, Box 7, POF, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(75.) Haldeman, Diaries, May 18, 1970, p. 167.

(76.) Memorandum from Strachan to Haldeman, May 1, 1972, Distribution of Vietnam Mine Poll May 9-10,1972, Box 357, HRH, SMOF, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(77.) Haldeman, Diaries, March 26, 1971, p. 260 and June 23, 1971, p. 305.

(78.) Haldeman, Diaries, November 3, 1969, p. 104; the ad idea resurfaced shortly thereafter, when The New York Times failed to cover the overwhelming approval of "Support the President" resolutions in the House and Senate, November 14, 1969, pp. 107-8.

(79.) Haldeman, Diaries, December 11, 1970, p. 219.

(80.) Haldeman, Diaries, March 9, 1972, p. 427.

(81.) William Safire, "Thoughts Regarding the Peace Announcement," undated, Vietnam, Box 178, SMOF, HRH, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(82.) Haldeman, Diaries, April 23, 1971, p. 278.

(83.) Ibid., February 14, 1972, p. 410.

(84.) William Timmons memorandum to Harry Dent, Charles Colson, Jeb Magruder, and Robert Odle, May 20,1970, Cambodia, Alpha Subject Files, Box 116, SMOF, HRH, WHSF, NPM, NARA.

(85.) Haldeman, Diaries, July 14, 1970, p. 182 and April 26, 1972, p. 448.

(86.) John E. Mueller, War, Presidents and Public Opinion (New York: John Wiley, 1973).

(87.) Haldeman, Diaries, August 24, 1971, p. 349