NIXON'S LETTER OF PROMISE TO SOUTH VIETNAM
KISSINGER & PRESIDENT NGUYEN VAN THIEU
PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON &
PRESIDENT NGUYEN VAN THIEU AT MIDWAY CONFERENCE
THE BROKEN PROMISES
The following excerpt is from an article by Bernard Gwentzman, N.Y. Times News Service (DAILY PROGRESS May 1, 1975)
WASHINGTON - A former Saigon cabinet official made public Wenesday the texts of letters from President Richard M. Nixon that promised the Saigon government in 1972 and 1973 that the Unitedd States would "take swift and severe retaliatory action" and would "respond with full force" if North Vietnam violated the Paris cease-fire accord.
This was the first disclosure of any of the correspondence between Nixon and former South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu.
The content of the letters released by Nguyen Tien Hung, former minister of planning, seemed more specific about the possible use of American retaliatory military force than the White House indicated initially earlier this month when the matter of "secret assurances" to Saigon first became an issue earlier this month.
Coincidental with Hung's disclosures at a news conference here, President Ford formally refused to give Congress copies of the Nixon - Thieu correspondence on the ground of diplomatic confidentiality.
Ford was asked by Sen John J. Sparkman, chairman of the Foreign Relation Commtitee, to supply the documents after Sen. Henry M. JAckson had charged that "secret agreement" had been made by the Nixon Administration....
The following excerpt is from an article by George Bowles of The Progress StaffTimes
Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. former chief of naval operations, charged today the Nixon Administration had made "firm commitments" of support to South Vietnam if the North Vietnamese violated the Paris accords of 1973 and resumed their aggression. These agreement, said Zumwalt were never communicated to the Congress.
Zumwalt told The Daily Progress he based his knowledge upon the fact that he had been personally told by former President Nixon, Secretary of States Henry Kissinger, and Gen. Alexander Haig, former White House chief of staff, that the commitments existed. Zumwalt said he was dismayed when he learned several weeks ago that Congress had never been informed of the agreeents.
"Kissinger and Nixon did not level with the Congress as to the commitments that were made," said the retired four-star-admiral. Zumwalt served as the navy's top military oficer and as a member of the Joint Chiefs od Staff from 1970 until 1974. "We prevailed upon Vietnamese President Thieu to accept a very bad truce. This truce permitted the enemy to remain in South Vietnam in exchange for something that was good for the United States and that was the total removal of our forces....