The Double Rape Of Cambodia
Document #1085; March 2, 1959
Christian Archibald Herter
EM, AWF, Dulles-Herter Series
of Dwight David Eisenhower, Volume XX - The Presidency: Keeping the Peace
Part VII: Berlin and the Chance for a Summit; March 1959 to August 1959
Chapter 16: A "staunch bulwark" resigns
Memorandum for the Acting Secretary of State:
Subject: Limited release of information on letter from Prince Sihanouk
I have studied your memorandum of February 28, 1959 in which you recommend that we orally inform the governments of Thailand
and Viet-Nam of the substance of Prince Sihanouk’s letter to me of February 23, 1959. I think that in view of the circumstances
this must be done.1
However, in view of the unusual nature of such an action, I think some explanation is called for. Therefore, please instruct
the officials who inform the governments of Thailand and Viet-Nam to stress (1) that we habitually treat such communications
between heads of government as strictly confidential, and (2) that it is only the circumstance of Sihanouk’s release
of his letter to the Australian, British, and French mission chiefs that prompts us to pass its substance on to the other
1 For background on U.S.-Cambodian relations see Galambos and van Ee, The Middle Way, no. 882. On recent
relations between the two governments and on tensions between Cambodia and the neighboring countries of South Vietnam and
Thailand see State, Foreign Relations, 1958 - 1960, vol. XVI, East Asia - Pacific Region; Cambodia; Laos,
pp. 228 - 33, 246 - 47, 252 - 64, 267 - 82, 285 - 88; see also Norodom Sihanouk, My War with the CIA: The Memoirs of Prince
Norodom Sihanouk, as related to Wilfred Burchett (New York, 1973), pp. 104 - 9.
Prime Minister Norodom Sihanouk had written Eisenhower regarding threats along Cambodia’s borders by forces intent
on overthrowing the government. The threatening countries were strong, Sihanouk maintained, because of economic and military
aid supplied to them by the United States. He asked that Eisenhower ensure that U.S. assistance to South Vietnam and Thailand
was "not used improperly to foster political or territorial ambitions against non-Communist neighbors." If this could not
be done, he asked that Eisenhower "at least supply us with the means to defend ourselves" (Sihanouk to Eisenhower, Feb. 23,
1959, AWF/I: Cambodia).
On February 25 Acting Secretary Herter had suggested that Eisenhower send an interim reply to the Cambodian leader as quickly
as possible to let him know that his appeal was receiving Eisenhower's attention (Herter to Eisenhower, Feb. 25, 1959; and
Eisenhower to Sihanouk, Feb. 26, 1959, both in ibid.).
Herter had subsequently told Eisenhower that Sihanouk had given copies of the letter to Western diplomats in Phnom Penh
and had mentioned it in an oral presentation to all diplomatic and consular mission chiefs, including representatives from
Communist countries. "Prince Sihanouk appears to view the letter as he would a diplomatic note, and therefore has not perceived
the need to keep it in strict confidence" (Herter to Eisenhower, Feb. 28, 1959, AWF/D-H; see also Telephone conversation,
Eisenhower and Herter, Mar. 2, 1959, Herter Papers, Telephone Conversations).
2 For developments see no. 1123.
Bibliographic reference to this document:
D. To Christian Archibald Herter, 2 March 1959. In The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, ed. L. Galambos and D.
van Ee, doc. 1085. World Wide Web facsimile by The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission of the print edition; Baltimore,
MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/presidential-papers/second-term/documents/1085.cfm
Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission
1629 K Street, NW Suite 801
Washington DC 20006
202.296.0004 Fax: 202.296.6464
Go to the original site:
The Presidential Papers Of Dwight David Eisenhower
The following documents show irrefutable proof of treason in wartime on the part of the CIA, State Department, Joint Chiefs
of Staff, NSC and others present. The blatant defiance of Presidential Directives issued during wartime caused untold grief
and disaster for countless lives, undermined the foreign policy of the United States and caused a sitting President to decide
and announce that he would not seek nor accept his parties nomination for a second term as President of The United States.
These documents have been ignored by the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Attorney General for the past four plus years.
The Bush Administration is in receipt by fax of this information at Karl Roves White House Office
URL's For State Department Documents Part 2
----- Original Message -----
From: Goldencoast Publishing
Cc: john mccarthy
Sent: Thursday, June 12,
2003 3:35 PM
Subject: FW: Part 2 - Relevant Documents with appropriate URLs for you to check
This is the first of several sets of documents taken off the Net at the State Department.
The one thing you will
note: Our government wanted to reach a rapproachment with Prince Sihanouk - Our CIA did not. These were classified at the
top levels of classification.
From: Goldencoast Publishing
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 23:41:11 -0700
Subject: Part 2 - Relevant Documents with appropriate URLs for you to check
Beginning here will be excerpts from the debate over what to do with Sihanouk - I will furnish the URL for you to look
at the full debate to make sure that I am not taking anything out of context.
Outline for the debate begins in 1965 - A year when John says Cherry had it's beginning -
(The link gives access to the documents #168 - #179 in full)
Look for document #171 below
171. Letter From Secretary of Defense McNamara to Secretary of State Rusk/1/
Washington, December 29, 1965.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 32-1 CAMB-VIET S. Top Secret.
In light of the United States Intelligence Board (USIB) findings (USIB Study, D-24.7/4 of 28 Oct 65, subject: Infiltration
and Logistics--South Vietnam),/2/ the Joint Chief's of Staff have expressed their views for future U.S. policy and actions
to cope with support being given the Viet Cong through Cambodia. Their report to me, JCSM 812-65 of 12 Nov 65,/3/ was made
available to Assistant Secretary of State William Bundy on 16 November 1965 to enable prompt consideration by State and Defense
staffs of the proposed courses of action which are briefly stated as follows:
Courses of Action E and F.
I do not propose a policy decision at this time for conducting paramilitary operations and low level aerial reconnaissance
into Cambodia, but believe we should plan to be ready for such operations. As indicated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, these
are effective methods of supplementing other intelligence means. For example, the initial experience with Shining Brass/7/
reconnaissance/intelligence teams suggests that the selective introduction of highly trained military personnel in cross-border
operations could be effective in obtaining reliable information on infiltration activity leading to more effective harassment
and interdiction of supply routes.
/7/Shining Brass was the code name for U.S.-led South Vietnamese intelligence probes of the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the Laos
panhandle. See Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, volume XXVIII, for extensive documentation on it and its successor operations.
Since it is only prudent to be prepared for launching cross-border and/or low level aerial reconnaissance, I have informed
the Joint Chiefs of Staff that, if the problem with Cambodia grows, consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis to
undertaking such actions.
THE NEXT DOCUMENT #172 INTRODUCES THE KHMER SEREI - WHICH YOU NOW KNOW AS THE GROUP
THE CIA WAS WORKING WITH IN CHERRY - The bold areas are from me and are not in the original as bolded - I just want to point
out a chain here
172. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Thailand/1/
Washington, December 29, 1965, 9:36 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 23-8 THAI. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Trueheart, cleared by Bundy,
and approved by Rusk. Also sent to Saigon as telegram 1831.
1085. For Ambassador Lodge and Ambassador Martin from the Secretary. Ref: A. Deptel 1026 to Bangkok; 1708 to Saigon./2/
B. FTB 9478./3/
/2/In telegram 1026 to Bangkok, also sent to Saigon as 1708, December 27, the Department expressed concern about Thai and
South Vietnamese support for the Khmer Serei. (Ibid., POL 23-8 CAMB)
/3/Not further identified.
1. I am most concerned that, notwithstanding approaches which have been made to GVN and RTG, Vietnamese and Thai authorities
continue to provide active support to Khmer Serei action against Cambodia and that a major acceleration of this activity is
2. Ambassador Martin should see Prime Minister soonest (and General Praphat as well, if he considers this desirable)/4/
to inform him that we have incontrovertible evidence of activity of Thai officials described above and to request that he
take immediate action to terminate any form of RTG support for Khmer Serei. He should use such arguments as he believes best
designed to bring about this result but Thanom should be left in no doubt that it is the firm view of the United States Government
that Khmer Serei operation will in no way contribute to our broad objectives in Southeast Asia and can only bring discredit
on the United States as well as Thailand and South Viet Nam./5/
/4/According to telegram 1275 from Bangkok, December
30, on the basis of Department telegram 1026 and prior to receipt of telegram 1085, Martin saw Praphat and expressed concern
over Thai support of the Khmer Serei. Praphat downplayed Thailand's role and claimed it was mostly "passive supporting South
Vietnamese initiated and financed operations." (Department of State, Central Files, POL 23-8 THAI)
/5/In telegram 1088 to Bangkok, December 30, Rusk asked Martin also to see Thanom so as to leave no possibility of doubt
in Thai minds about the seriousness of U.S. concern in the matter and to make the record completely clear. Rusk stated that
he realized "that the Vietnamese are at least equally to blame in this affair and no effort should be spared to bring them
to terminate support for the Khmer Serei." (Ibid.)
3. Ambassador Lodge should follow up earlier approach and take similar line with Ky, but in view Saigon's 2166/6/ this
may be deferred until approach to Thanom has been confirmed.
/6/In telegram 2166 from Saigon, December 28, Lodge reported on representations he made with Ky about South Vietnamese
support for the Khmer Serei. (Ibid.)
4. Following these approaches, I would appreciate your views as to what further action, if any, is required to bring a
stop to this affair./7/
/7/Lodge reported in telegram 2338 from Saigon, December 31, that should he raise the issue again with Ky, the Vietnamese
Prime Minister would ask for a clear view of the U.S. position in Viet Cong use of Cambodia as a sanctuary. Lodge stated that
he had "gone as far as I can go on the basis of treating the Khmer Serei as a totally isolated and separate event." (Ibid.)
The next comes in document 175 with highlighted material - we are now in early 1966
175. Memorandum From James C. Thomson, Jr., to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs
Washington, January 5, 1966.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Cambodia, Vol. V, Memos, 10/65-9/67. Secret.
Although I understand that State as a whole remains very leery of resurrecting any Cambodia conference proposal, Allen
Whiting/2/ suggests that we over here might want to consider such a move.
/2/The Director of the Office on Research and Analysis for the Far East, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department
The circumstances have altered considerably since Sihanouk's turn-down of the previous conference proposal. Cambodia is
more gravely threatened than ever before--by a pincer movement with MACV on Cambodia's eastern frontier and the Thai/GVN-supported
Khmer Serei on the western frontier. Sihanouk is properly scared. It would be far less likely for him to shoot down the proposal
under the present circumstances.
Our interests here are two-fold and clear: first and more narrowly, to get the Thai and GVN to call off their dogs--an
effort in which we have been so far markedly unsuccessful; but second and more important, to get the right people to a conference
where the long-sought corridor conversations can finally take place.
In short, there is more reason than ever for a Cambodia conference, both in terms of the heightened threat to Cambodia's
security and in terms of our intensified quest for negotiations.
So why not add this item to our current push? (Get the British and Soviets to take the initiative summoning such a conference.)
The next is still early 1966 - Evidence is mounting that VC are using Cambodia - yet
they still say no to use of Khmer Serei
176. Letter From Acting Secretary of State Ball to Secretary of Defense McNamara/1/
Washington, January 17, 1966.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 CAMB. Top Secret. Drafted by Ewing and John M. Kane of SEA on January
I have given careful consideration to the problem of Viet Cong use of Cambodia to support its forces in South Vietnam and,
in particular, the Joint Chiefs of Staff views on future U.S. actions regarding Cambodia outlined in your letter of December
29./2/ I agree with your conclusion that, unless there is a sudden and significant increase in the use of Cambodian territory
by the PAVN/Viet Cong or in logistical support obtained in Cambodia, a gradual and cautious response by the U.S. Government
and by certain other friendly governments is appropriate and desirable.
The following are my thoughts on the Courses of Action proposed by the Joint Chiefs and commented upon in your letter:
Course of Action A--The need to expand and intensify the overall intelligence collection program for Cambodia is amply
demonstrated by the paucity of hard evidence on the extent and significance of PAVN/Viet Cong use of Cambodian territory and
by the differences in interpretation of available information within the intelligence community which have arisen in the course
of interagency discussions of the Joint Chiefs' proposals. I concur in and am forwarding your letter of December 29 to Admiral
Raborn,/3/ requesting that he ask USIB to re-examine all possible assets to determine additional programs which might be developed
to enhance our intelligence capability. I note, however, that among the activities which the Joint Chiefs envisage as being
included in a stepped-up intelligence collection program are covert ground cross border intelligence incursions by small teams
into Cambodian territory. In any proposal for this type of activity, I would wish to make certain that full consideration
is given to the political problems it may raise, particularly should there be any question of the use of Vietnamese or "Khmer
/3/See footnote 4, Document 171.
Courses of Action B and C--I recognize the importance of political and psychological pressure on the Cambodian Government
to inhibit Viet Cong use of Cambodian territory, including enlisting support in this effort by other friendly governments.
We have already undertaken various actions to this effect, most recently in our December 21 press statement,/4/ and have had
recent consultations with Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, India and France. We will continue to explore ways which
can be effective in persuading Sihanouk that Cambodia's best interests lie in preventing, to the best of his ability, Viet
Cong use of Cambodian territory. However, as you are no doubt aware, a principal drawback to our efforts in this respect has
been the lack of convincing evidence that use of Cambodian territory, in fact, constitutes a really significant factor for
PAVN/Viet Cong operations in South Vietnam or that there has been collusion by the Cambodian Government in such use as has
taken place. An aspect of this problem is that the Cambodian Government does not have the capability to control its borders
with South Vietnam to the extent of preventing any use at all of its territory by the Viet Cong.
/4/See footnote 2, Document 169.
Course D through Course I--I agree fully with your views on these proposed courses of action and have no further comment
on them at this time.
In conclusion I should like to point out that unsatisfactory as the present situation in Cambodia is from the U.S. point
of view, it would be far worse, it seems to me, if Cambodia were pushed into active belligerency against South Vietnam and
against U.S. armed forces or if control authority there were to collapse into civil strife and virtual anarchy as a consequence
of border incidents and pressures from such elements as the Khmer Serei movement. Should either of these conditions occur,
the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces would have a far greater opportunity than they now enjoy to use Cambodian territory
for base areas, for refuge, for training, for supply and for infiltration of men and supplies into South Vietnam. In our various
calculations as to how to deal with our existing difficulties in Cambodia, I believe that these are dangers which we must
always keep in mind.
George W. Ball/5/
/5/Printed from a copy that indicates Ball signed the original.
Will cut off here and go to next part to keep these, as I said, to managable levels
URL's For State Department Documents Part 3
----- Original Message -----
From: Goldencoast Publishing
Cc: john mccarthy
Sent: Thursday, June 12,
2003 3:44 PM
Subject: FW: PART 3 - Continued in t.html - THE DIRECTIVE
From: Goldencoast Publishing
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2000 00:15:11 -0700
Subject: PART 3 - Continued in t.html - THE DIRECTIVE
In the following memorandum, you will follow the sequence that leads to the President saying to CIA etc. No help for Khmer
Serei - The first - 183 - introduces the rest and they want imaginative action on the Cambodian Problem
The link gives access to the documents #180 - #185 in full)
183. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to Secretary of State Rusk/1/
Washington, June 21, 1966.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 32-1 CAMB-VIET S. Secret; Exdis. Read sent a memorandum to Rusk, Ball,
and U. Alexis Johnson, June 22, informing them that he had asked the Policy Planning Staff to coordinate a response to Thompson's
memorandum by June 28. Read's memorandum is attached, but not printed.
Possible Approaches to the Cambodia Problem
This file is more or less self-explanatory.
In meeting with the NSC staff--urging us all to be imaginative--the President asked for proposals to get closer to Sihanouk.
Jim Thomson did the attached paper. I sent it forward with the recommendation that I be instructed to request you to examine
the proposals and make your recommendations.
The President's enthusiasm is self-evident, including his reaction to pages 5-6.
Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson
Washington, June 20, 1966, 10:30 a.m.
At your suggestion Jim Thomson has prepared the attached collection of imaginative initiatives with
respect to Cambodia.
My recommendation is that you instruct me to request Secretary Rusk to examine them and make his recommendations to you--understanding,
however, that you wish movement on this problem.
/2/Johnson approved and wrote the following note: "This is excellent. I'm proud--L."
Memorandum From James C. Thomson, Jr., of the National Security Council Staff to President Johnson
Washington, June 14, 1966, 6:30 p.m.
Possible Approaches to the Cambodia Problem
In response to your request at our Cabinet Room meeting, I have
been probing this town intensively for fresh ideas as to how we might improve our relations with Cambodia over the months
A. The Problem
As you know, the widely held view within the bureaucracy is that very little can be accomplished until we have achieved
success in Vietnam--or at least until Sihanouk is convinced that we will succeed. This view is based on some convincing facts
1. The United States is closely associated with Cambodia's two historic enemies, Thailand and Vietnam. Both nations have
encroached on Cambodia throughout the past (making it, in miniature, the Poland of Southeast Asia); and as recently as 1941-1945,
Thailand seized and occupied all of northwest Cambodia. As long as we are so deeply committed to the Thai and Vietnamese,
Sihanouk doubts that we will protect Cambodia's independence.
2. In seeking protection from his immediate neighbors, the Prince thus looks to Communist China. He does this despite his
opposition to Communism and his awareness of a long-term threat from China itself. Only the emergence of an alternative protector
power will pull him away from alignment with Peking.
3. The Vietnam war exposes Cambodia's eastern frontier areas to periodic incursions by Viet Cong, North Vietnamese, GVN,
and U.S. forces. Since Cambodia completely lacks the capability to keep Communist units out of the sparsely populated northeast,
it closes its eyes to Viet Cong incursions--and holds the U.S. and GVN responsible for the destruction of Cambodian lives
and property that results from our own border operations.
B. Possible Lines of Action
Despite these facts of life, however, there are steps we could take that might ease the Prince's sense of insecurity and
gradually improve our relations with Cambodia. None of them guarantees success; all involve at least the minimal risk of rebuff.
But they seem to me worth trying nonetheless.
In the proposals that follow, I have suggested actions we might take to reassure Sihanouk of our support for Cambodia's
independence, territorial integrity, and neutrality; to maintain channels of friendly unofficial and perhaps official communication;
to increase the effectiveness of international supervision of Cambodia's frontiers; to end needless and profitless provocations;
and, hopefully, to lay the groundwork for reestablished diplomatic relations. Some involve mere style and atmospherics--but
such factors should not be discounted in our relations with a proud and sensitive ruler.
1. Expansion of the ICC
Sihanouk has asked that the ICC be expanded in order to police more effectively Cambodia's Vietnam frontier; he also asks
that we foot the bill. Rusk has informed the Cambodian Foreign Minister of our willingness to push this project. The problem
seems to be that the Russians (and their agents, the Poles) are dragging their feet. It is possible that 30 to 40 ICC personnel,
with helicopters and terms of reference that permit mobility, could keep close tabs on this border region, detect Viet Cong
violations, and deter increased Communist use of Cambodia as a sanctuary or infiltration corridor. We should be entirely willing
to pay the cost for such an obvious assist to our side; we should put the heat on the Russians (and the Indians) to get this
expansion moving; but we can't do it without the Prince's strong support, and at the moment he seems to fear the heat from
the other side.
2. Avoidance of Provocations from Vietnam
We should issue firm instructions to keep MACV (and the Pentagon) from further public accusations of unproven Cambodian
collusion with the Communists. There is an understandable MACV tendency--with hearty Vietnamese support--to distort and magnify
Communist use of Cambodia. We should accept the fact that some border violations will be inevitable in such a war; that although
some Cambodian border officials do encourage such violations, the Cambodian Government so far does not; and that there is
a clear net value to us in preventing the expansion of the Vietnam War's battleground to include 66,000 sq. mi. of Cambodia.
3. Avoidance of Provocations from Thailand
Despite periodic efforts in Washington and the field, there is still clear evidence of Thai (and Vietnamese) support for
the anti-Sihanouk Khmer Serei forces (no more than 1000) on Cambodia's northwest frontier. The GVN trains Cambodians and ships
them to Thailand where they are then put into action on the Cambodia border in order to broadcast anti-Sihanouk appeals and
to foment frontier incidents. Sihanouk is still convinced of U.S. collusion with the dissidents. These activities, which stand
no chance of success and run counter to our national interests, can only be turned off by a Presidential directive [less than
1 line of source text not declassified] repeated lower level protests have simply not been taken seriously by the GVN or the
RTG. (NOTE - SIHANOUK IS STILL CONVINCED OF US COLLUSION WITH THE DISSIDENTS _ KHMER SEREI _ )
4. Quiet Bilateral Contacts
Of the various posts where U.S. and Cambodian diplomats function in the same community, perhaps New Delhi and New York
are the best suited to periodic quiet conversations between our lower level officials and those of the Cambodian Government.
The Cambodian Ambassador to India, formerly Ambassador to the U.S., is a trusted Sihanouk man who participated in the prematurely
terminated discussions which we conducted with the Cambodians in New Delhi in December 1964. Our Cambodian expert in Embassy
New Delhi has maintained contact with this man. This channel should now be used to communicate substantive messages and to
raise useful questions from time to time; an alternative channel should also be developed in New York between our mission
and Cambodia's able new Number-Two representative there.
5. U.S. Congressional Visit
As you know, the Vice President has accepted, on behalf of the Congress, a Cambodian suggestion that three members of Congress
visit Cambodia sometime in the months ahead; this visit is now tentatively set for the autumn, with Senators Aiken, Inouye,
and Pell hoping to travel to Phnom Penh. We should use the occasion of this visit to convey the good will of the U.S. Government
to Sihanouk and his colleagues; we should attach to this mission some able Cambodia specialists from the Department; and we
should consider using this occasion for the presentation of a letter from you to Sihanouk (see below).
6. Eugene Black Visit
We should explore the possibility of including Cambodia on the itinerary of Eugene Black when he takes his postponed trip
to the Far East in October. Cambodia is highly pertinent to Black's trip since the Mekong Development Program is currently
hung up on the problem of funds for the next priority project, the Prek Thant Dam complex in Cambodia. Here again, Black might
be the bearer of a Presidential letter (see below).
7. Presidential Letter
Although one must assume that Sihanouk will probably publish any correspondence he receives, however private, consideration
should be given to a letter from you to the Prince, perhaps to be carried by the Senators or Black. The purposes of such a
letter would be reassurance, flattery, and the establishment of a personal channel of communication with a man who places
high value on personal relations. Such a letter would involve obvious risks, but I have attempted an illustrative draft (see
/3/Attached, but not printed.
8. Other Visitors
We should keep in mind the several human assets we hold in Americans for whom the Prince has special friendship or respect.
Among them are Dean Acheson, who won Cambodia's World Court case against Thailand; also Senator Mansfield, Governor Harriman,
and Chester Bowles; of lower visibility but great skill is Major General Edward C.D. Sherrer, one of our most successful MAAG
Chiefs (in Cambodia, 1961-63), who is now serving on the Joint Staff of the Pentagon. In the absence of diplomatic relations,
we should try to keep up a program of unofficial visitors to Phnom Penh.
9. Third Country Mediation
Our diplomatic interests in Cambodia are currently well served by the Australians, whose able Ambassador is close to the
Prince. As an antidote to over-reliance on Saigon and Bangkok for information on Cambodia, we should frankly ask the Australians,
as well as other potential intermediaries--notably the Japanese, British, Filipinos, and Indonesians--to be alert to times
and ways in which our relations with Cambodia might be improved.
10. Diplomatic Relations
Since 1965, Sihanouk has set three general conditions for resumption of diplomatic relations with the U.S.: a halt to border
incidents; compensation--through bulldozers or tractors--for past Cambodian casualties; and formal U.S. recognition of Cambodia's
neutrality, territorial integrity and present borders. Although these conditions may be negotiable, we should probably not
push too hard for resumed relations until we have tested the ICC track and unofficial contacts. Through the latter contacts,
however--and through New York and New Delhi--we should seek to refine Sihanouk's conditions to a more acceptable formulation
(i.e., a pledge of respect for Cambodia's frontiers and neutrality, and perhaps some symbolic compensation for Cambodian casualties.)
Note: I do not believe that any of these moves will easily or quickly resolve our problems with Cambodia but they are all
worth considering, and--with a close eye to timing--they may be worth trying in the months ahead. Some of them, of course,
will irritate the GVN and, especially, Thailand; but this is not a high price, and it is well worth paying. Improved relations
with Cambodia would clearly serve our national interest not only by limiting the Indo-China battlefield but by proving our
willingness and ability to pursue a live-and-let-live relationship with a neutral and unaligned Southeast Asian state.
1. That you indicate to the Department of State the high priority which you attach to an expansion of the ICC in Cambodia./4/
/4/Johnson approved and wrote: "Good & Strong!"
2. That you direct the Department and CIA to press the Thai and Vietnam Governments to cease all support for the Khmer
/5/Johnson approved and wrote: "Same." and drew an arrow to the phrase "Good & Strong!"
3. That you ask State to consider and prepare a Presidential message to Sihanouk, to be carried either by the Senate mission
or by Eugene Black./6/
/6/Johnson approved and wrote: "by both."
4. That you ask State to prepare a continuing program of unofficial visits by Americans to Phnom Penh and private contacts
between U.S. and Cambodian diplomats./7/
/7/Johnson approved and wrote: "I heartily agree--Let's also include other countries where we need contacts (Latin America,
Africa, Eastern Europe.)"7
JC Thomson Jr.
We now have the President of the United States approving the State Department and
CIA to press the Thai and VN Govts to cease all support for the Khmer Serei rebels - Not knowing that CIA is actively working
with them - Remember in John's writing - CIA in Thailand is working with Khmer Serei - John knows the name of the man doing
the work at this time - The next #184 shows that the directives are being carried out -
184. Note From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson/1/
Washington, June 25, 1966, 4:15 p.m.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Vol. LV, Memos A, 6/66. Secret.
This lively account confirms your instinct about Sihanouk.
I checked with George Ball to make sure they staff out and act on some of the Cambodia recommendations we sent over.
Mr. President, you can smell it all over: Hanoi's operation, backed by the Chicoms, is no longer being regarded as the
wave of the future out there. U.S. power is beginning to be felt.
We're not in; but we're moving./2/
/2/Johnson wrote the following note on the source text: "Good--see me. L." Another note in an unidentified hand reads:
"Mr. Rostow saw Pres. 6/27/67."
The next E Mail will demonstrate that this was followed up on - ie The Presidential Directive was acted upon -
URL's For State Department Documents Part 4
----- Original Message -----
From: Goldencoast Publishing
Cc: john mccarthy
Sent: Thursday, June 12,
2003 3:45 PM
Subject: FW: Part 4 - Follow up to the Directive - Still in 1966
This is a continuation of the previous documents -
From: Goldencoast Publishing
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2000 01:09:30 -0700
Subject: Part 4 - Follow up to the Directive - Still in 1966
URL to documents #180 - #185:
192. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense
Washington, September 24, 1966.
/1/Source: Department of Defense,
JCS Official Records, 9155 (1 Feb 1966) Sec. 1, IR 101. Top Secret; Sensitive.
Cross-Border Operations (U)
(S) Reference is made to:
a. Your memorandum, dated 13 June 1966, subject as above./2/
/2/References, a, c,
and d are attached, but not printed.
b. A message from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to CINCPAC, 5374/271912Z June 1966,
subject as above./3/
/3/Department of Defense, JCS Official Records, 9155.1 (14 Oct 65), Sec. 2, IR 6231.
A message from CINCPAC to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 130401Z August 1966, subject as above.
d. A message from COMUSMACV
to CINCPAC, 031206Z August 1966, subject as above.
e. A message from the Defense Intelligence Agency to CINCPAC, DIAAQ
4054/152257Z February 1966, subject: "Clandestine Collection Operations Against Cambodia (S)."/4/
(NOTE _ THE (S) here
shows that the subject "Clandestine Collection Operations against Cambodia" these words together were classified at the Secret
Level all by themselves - LARRY)
/4/References e and f were not found.
f. A message from COMUSMACV to CINCPAC,
010340Z February 1966, subject: "Preparation for Cross-Border Operations in Cambodia."
2. (TS) On 13 June 1966, you
approved (reference 1a) the recommendation to organize, train, and equip an indigenous force of intelligence agents, reconnaissance
teams, and reaction teams for possible future employment in cross-border operations into Cambodia. Authority was not granted
to commit these forces into Cambodia.
3. (TS) The State Department view (reference 1a)/5/ that the recruitment of ethnic
Cambodians (Khmer) should not be permitted was reflected in the guidance provided to CINCPAC by the Joint Chiefs of Staff
in reference 1b. However, prior to receipt of this restriction, based on his interpretation of the guidance contained in reference
1e and on his visualized employment of the force (reference 1f) until such time as cross-border operations were authorized,
COMUSMACV had already recruited and partially trained 40 ethnic Cambodians. These personnel were carefully screened to ensure
that they were not Khmer Serei.
/5/The Department of State view is in a memorandum from Unger to Blouin, June 7, attached
to reference 1a, which is attached to this memorandum.
4. (TS) In reference 1c, CINCPAC requested reconsideration of
the restriction prohibiting the recruitment of Cambodians and requested the authority to retain and utilize those already
5. (TS) The State Department's rationale in recommending against the use of Cambodian personnel is as
follows: first, the Cambodian minority in Vietnam is strongly influenced by the Khmer Serei (Free Cambodia) movement and second,
should Prince Sihanouk learn that a force of Khmers was being formed for cross-border operations into Cambodia, he would interpret
this as a serious threat to his regime and be more likely than ever to cast his lot with the Chinese communists.
(TS) COMUSMACV's position (reference 1d), supported by CINCPAC (reference 1c), is that Cambodians who have lived in border
regions are ideal for use in this type operation due to their familiarity with the area, language, and customs of the people.
Furthermore, thorough screening, checking and investigation of all Cambodians recruited can minimize penetration of the operation
by the Khmer Serei.
7. (TS) The Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered these factors and are of the view that COMUSMACV's
requirements can be met and the potential problems associated with the use of ethnic Cambodians minimized by adhering to the
a. Ethnic Cambodians will be used primarily as agents and in the intelligence and reconnaissance
b. Ethnic Cambodians will be recruited in such numbers as not to become the dominant element in the reaction
force as a whole or in any one reaction company.
c. All ethnic Cambodians recruited will be carefully screened to reduce
the possibility of penetration of the program by Khmer Serei or Cambodian intelligence agents.
d. The program will
not be identified as a potential cross-border operation into Cambodia, and use of the assets for in-country operations will
support this contention.
8. (TS) Accordingly, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend:
a. Approval for the retention
of the Cambodians now in the program.
b. Approval for recruitment of additional Cambodians in accord-ance with the
c. Forwarding a memorandum to the Secretary of State substantially as proposed in the Appendix hereto./6/
memorandum to the Department of State was not found attached, but in telegram 120 to CINCPAC, December 10, the JCS granted
authority to retain the 40 Cambodians already recruited and trained so long as all necessary precautions were taken to minimize
the risk of disclosing their association with cross-border operations. Authority was not granted for recruitment of additional
ethnic Cambodians for cross-border operations. (Department of Defense, JCS Official Records, 9155 (1 Feb 1966), Sec. 1, IR
For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
David L. McDonald/7/
Joint Chiefs of Staff
from a copy that indicates McDonald signed the original.
URL's For State Department Documents Part 5
----- Original Message -----
From: Goldencoast Publishing
Cc: john mccarthy
Sent: Thursday, June 12,
2003 3:46 PM
Subject: FW: 1967 - PART 5 - No change in policy
From: Goldencoast Publishing
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2000 01:54:40 -0700
To: Christy Clark
Subject: 1967 - PART 5 - No change in policy
begin with a debate over the increased use of Cambodia by the NVA - from JCS and SNIE assessments - NOTE - no change in policy
- ie no note of use of Khmer Serei -
URL to documents #197 - #206
198. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense McNamara/1/
Washington, December 19, 1966.
/1/Source: Washington National Records Center,
RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 70 A 4662, Cambodia, 1966. Top Secret.
Actions to Deal with VC/NVA Use of Cambodian
1. (TS) Reference is made to JCSM-812-65, dated 12 November 1965,/2/ in which the Joint Chiefs of Staff
informed you of their views and recommendations concerning Cambodian support of the Viet Cong (VC). The Joint Chiefs of Staff
recommended that forceful action be taken to stop the use of Cambodian territory by enemy forces as a logistics base and sanctuary.
2. (TS) You concurred in actions to expand and intensify the over-all intelligence collection
program in Cambodia, increased surveillance of the sea lines of communication (LOCs) between the Republic of Vietnam (RVN)
and Cambodia, increased controls on the Mekong and Bassac waterways, and planning for the conduct of covert paramilitary operations
and low-altitude aerial reconnaissance. You further stated that should these measures prove ineffective other recommendations
would be considered on a case-by-case basis. The immediate pursuit of VC/North Vietnamese Army (NVA) forces withdrawing into
Cambodian territory was authorized only in emergency self defense/preservation situations.
3. (TS) Measures recommended
for the conduct of an aggressive political/psychological campaign to persuade the Cambodian Government to stop support of
the VC/NVA were referred to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State advised a gradual and cautious approach and, with
respect to covert cross-border operations, full consideration of the political problems involved. He further stated that there
was a lack of convincing evidence of the significant use of Cambodian territory by the VC/NVA.
4. (TS) The VC/NVA exploitation
of the pseudo-neutrality of Cambodia has increased to serious proportions. This is amply substantiated by a recent DIA assessment
(Appendix A)/3/ and attested to by the conclusions reached at a Southeast Asia Coordination (SEACOORD) meeting of 10 November
1966. VC/NVA use of the Cambodian sanctuary constitutes a clear and present danger and thereby requires a continuous commitment
of sizable friendly forces to the border area, impedes progress of the land campaign, and results in unnecessary US and friendly
casualties. Major US operations conducted adjacent to the Cambodian border during 1966, including the largest ground operation
to date, Attelboro, have provided continuing indications that the VC/NVA are using Cambodia as a base of operations, a safe
haven, and a source of logistical support.
/3/Appendices A and B are attached, but not printed.
5. (TS) Actions
authorized under current policy have proven inadequate to counter the growing threat imposed by VC/NVA use of Cambodia. An
impasse exists wherein the collection of convincing intelligence is prerequisite to changes in policy, while adequate intelligence
cannot be obtained until this policy is changed. COMUSMACV, CINCPAC, and Embassy Saigon recommend and the Joint Chiefs of
Staff concur that additional measures must be taken to obtain adequate and convincing intelligence suitable for use in diplomatic
efforts aimed at reversing Cambodia's countenance of the present situation.
6. (TS) The Joint Chiefs of Staff consider
that current national policy with respect to Cambodia must again by reviewed in light of over-all US objectives in Southeast
Asia and the continued use of the Cambodian sanctuary by the VC/NVA. It is noted that Secretary Vance has requested the Under
Secretary of State to establish a joint State-Defense-CIA study group to explore problems associated with Cambodia. This will
take time. In the meantime, certain minimum actions should be taken now. Therefore, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend that:
The over-all intelligence collection program against Cambodia be expanded and intensified immediately to include:
Authorization for ground reconnaissance operations such as Daniel Boone into Cambodia.
(2) Authorization to conduct
high altitude U-2 photography over Cambodia on a continuing basis.
(3) Authorization to conduct medium and low altitude
day/night photography, ARDF, IR, and SLAR on a continuing basis into Cambodia to a depth of 75 nautical miles from the border
with Laos and South Vietnam (SVN). Excluded from reconnaissance coverage is an area 25 nautical miles around Phnom Penh.
Immediate pursuit of actively engaged VC/NVA forces which are withdrawing into Cambodian territory be authorized, thereby
enhancing our capability to destroy the enemy, gaining hard intelligence, and increasing the security of the border area.
A more extensive coordinated public affairs and information program and supporting psychological operations be instituted
to illuminate Cambodian support to the VC/NVA, to dissuade Cambodia from continuing such support, and to lay the foundation
for possible future courses of action.
d. A memorandum, substantially as contained in Appendix B, together with a copy
of Appendix A, be forwarded to the Secretary of State.
For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
Earle G. Wheeler/4/
Chiefs of Staff
/4/Printed from a copy that indicates Wheeler signed the original.
- In the Next One - CIA says MACV overstates the problem - all the while CHERRY is in operation
Memorandum From the Deputy Director of Intelligence and Research (Denny) to Secretary of State Rusk/1/
/1/Source: Department of State, INR/EAP Files: Lot 90 D 165, SNIE 57-67. Secret; No Foreign Dissem; Limited
SNIE 57-67: Significance of Cambodia to the Vietnamese Communist War Effort/2/
The attached Special National Intelligence Estimate assesses the nature and the extent of Viet Cong use of Cambodian
territory in support of Communist military operations in South Vietnam. The estimate was requested by the SEACOORD ambassadors,
following their meeting in Saigon last November. Drawing on a MACV intelligence study, "The Role of Cambodia in the NVN/VC
War Effort,"/3/ which was prepared a month previously and served as the basis of their briefing by General Westmoreland's
intelligence officers, the SEACOORD ambassadors concluded that Communist use of Cambodia "is growing in magnitude" and cited
MACV's view that our "tolerance level" of refusing to expand the fighting into Cambodia "is being reached." Finally, SEACOORD
proposed, pending "confirmation of the magnitude and seriousness of the problem" by the intelligence community estimate, a
number of specific actions to discourage Communist use of Cambodia and to expand our intelligence assets on the problem.
Utilizing intelligence from all sources, as well as the MACV study of last year, the estimate deals with
Communist use of Cambodia for sanctuary, infiltration, and logistical support, the extent of official Cambodian involvement,
as well as the RKG's ability to counter Communist efforts through Cambodia. It also attempts to assess Communist alternatives
to the use of Cambodian territory in the event that Cambodian rice were denied the insurgents.
The estimate concludes
that, while Communist use of Cambodian territory has increased substantially during the past 18 months and will probably continue
to do so as a result of increased requirements created both by their own military build-up and intensified military operations
by allied forces, denial of Cambodian territory to the Viet Cong "would not constitute a decisive element in their ability
to conduct military operations," even though it would make life more difficult for them. Regarding the RKG's ability to restrict
Viet Cong use of Cambodia, the estimate concludes that "Cambodia's capability to detect and resist sizable Communist forces
or inhibit Communist activities, particularly in the northeast, is extremely limited." However, it notes that Sihanouk is
probably aware of the general nature but not the full extent of Communist activities in Cambodia and that his own attitude
has fostered a permissive atmosphere for collusion by officials and private commercial interests. The estimate also makes
the judgment that Sihanouk could do more than he is now doing to discourage the Viet Cong, but because of Cambodian military
limitations, fear of involvement in the war, and Sihanouk's belief that in the long run he will have to deal with the Communists,
Sihanouk's efforts during 1967 to control Communist use of Cambodia "will be minor and ineffectual."
In sum, the principal
judgments in this estimate are (1) that Communist use of Cambodian territory is not decisive to the Communist military effort
in South Vietnam and (2) that the RKG is neither willing nor able to restrict substantially the use of its territory. On the
basis of these judgments, therefore, the estimate does not appear to support the tone and implications of the MACV study.
Indeed, in its own thorough review and evaluation of the MACV study, CIA has concluded that the MACV study (1) failed to discriminate
sufficiently in the use of raw intelligence reports and (2) overstated the significance of Cambodia to Communist military
operations in South Vietnam. We agree with CIA on these points.
Despite the estimate's divergence with MACV, it is worth noting that the DOD representatives had no major difficulties
with it. Indeed, there was considerable consensus among all representatives on the high-lights of the estimate. At one point,
DIA threatened to reserve its position over the amount of rice estimated to have been delivered from Cambodia to Communist
forces in the central Vietnamese highlands and in the southern Laos panhandle, but later accepted compromise wording on this
portion of the estimate.
Finally, the conclusion that the Viet Cong in certain areas would probably have to rely on
major shipments of rice from North Vietnam if Cambodia were no longer a source is, in our judgment, somewhat overdrawn since
we are not at all confident that sources within South Vietnam could not make up the gap or that rice from these sources could
be effectively denied the insurgents.
OF ALL THE DOCS - the next is the only one
that can save the CIA - I have no idea what it contains -
From the Chief, Far Eastern Division, Directorate of Plans of the Central Intelligence Agency (Colby) to the Assistant Secretary
of State for East Asian Affairs (Bundy)
Washington, April 13, 1967.
[Source: Central Intelligence Agency,
DDO/EA Files: Job 78-000032R, Chipwood Memos, Vol. II. Secret. 2-1/2 pages of source text not declassified.]
guesstimate that with the classification of Secret - It is not contradictory to the overall policy of no contac with Khmer
Serei - since those dealing with that subject often go to the TOP SECET level - To supplement this view, the next document
outlines expansion of Daniel Boone - with CIA involvement and note - NO ACTION TO BRING IN KHMER SEREI - John is already involved
205. Action Memorandum From the Chairman of the Cambodian Study
Group (Unger) to the Under Secretary of State (Katzenbach)/1/
Washington, May 1, 1967.
of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret. Drafted by Unger and initialed by Kohler.
by the Joint State-Defense-CIA Study Group for Cambodia
1. Pursuant to a suggestion to you from Deputy Secretary Vance,
agreement was reached last December on the establishment of Joint Study Group under Department of State Chairmanship to discuss
means of dealing with the problem of Viet Cong-North Vietnamese use of Cambodia. In addition to State, representatives of
the Department of Defense and CIA participated in the study and USIA was included in the discussions of psychological operations.
The Study Group has now completed its initial report which I am submitting to you at Tab A. In this report (pages 1-4) you
will find a summary and a series of recommendations which provide the essence of our findings. It is our hope that the report
will serve as a policy and operating guide for the Cambodian question as it relates to the war in Viet-Nam. The report is
labeled "initial" in recognition of the need to reassess its findings regularly.
3. If you approve the report I recommend
that you forward it to Messrs. Vance and Helms (see draft letter at Tab B)/2/ and invite their approval as well. Once the
report is approved I would recommend also providing an information copy to Mr. Marks, USIA.
/2/Attached but not printed.
As the work of the Study Group proceeded we were able to reach immediate agreement on certain recommended actions and authorization
was given to proceed with these forthwith as noted in the report, beginning on page 26. In addition to those actions, primarily
in the military field, we have also been proceeding with diplomatic and informational activities.
5. With respect to
certain other recommended actions, the Study Group deferred decision in one instance and in the remaining cases decided it
was inadvisable to approve the actions under present circumstances. These deferred and disapproved proposals are discussed
in the report starting on page 30. The deferred decision concerns certain limited ground reconnaissance operations, including
the participation of US personnel, in a limited area of Northeast Cambodia adjacent to South Viet-Nam and Laos (code name:
Daniel Boone). Because of the sensitivity of these operations I wished them to be considered at a high level in the Department
but I recommend that they be approved since I consider the military utility high and the risk of exposure low.
/3/Katzenbach approved both recommendations on May 9.
6. It is recommended
a) Approve the Initial Report (Tab A) of the Study Group and sign the letters transmitting it to Defense
and CIA (see Tab B).
b) Approve the Daniel Boone operation recommended by the Study Group and concur in the transmittal
of the messages contained in Tab K of the Initial Report.
[Here follows a table of contents.]
Initial Report of the Joint Department of State-Department of Defense-Central
Intelligence Agency Study Group on Cambodia
/4/Top Secret; Limdis.
I. Summary and Recommendations
Following a SEACOORD meeting in November 1966,
which focussed attention on the increasing seriousness of the problems of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese use of Cambodia,
USIB undertook a restudy of the problem in an effort to evaluate its relative significance to our military effort in Vietnam.
That study, completed on January 26, 1967, concludes inter alia that VC/NVA use of Cambodia: (1) does not constitute a decisive
element in the enemy capability for conducting military operations in Vietnam; (2) is of considerable psychological and military
advantage to them; and (3) is likely to increase further during the coming year./5/
/5/Special National Intelligence
Estimate 57-67: Significance of Cambodia to the Vietnamese Communist War Effort. [Footnote in the source text; see
Based on the USIB study, an interdepartmental Study Group, representing State, OASD/ISA, the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, and CIA (with USIA participation on psychological operations) has been meeting since early February under Ambassador
Unger's chairmanship to consider what additional actions might be taken to deal with this problem. In particular, the Study
Group has examined in detail proposals submitted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for an expansion of existing ground and aerial
intelligence collection activities, psychological operations, and immediate pursuit of VC/NVA forces on Cambodian soil.
considering the JCS proposals, the Study Group has worked from the premises that, for the present, our efforts to deal with
this problem should continue to be primarily in the political sphere and should be on a priority basis. Provocative actions
which would seriously prejudice the success of such efforts and threaten to expand the combat into Cambodia should be avoided.
However, those actions which are clearly required in terms of self-defense of our forces in South Vietnam should continue
to be authorized as necessary.
Although recognizing the limited capability of the Cambodians to control their frontiers,
the Study Group noted recent developments in Cambodia which seem to offer an improved prospect for getting the Cambodian Government
to take more effective action to reduce the advantage VC/NVA forces derive from use of Cambodian territory. The Study Group
supported a stepped up plan of political/diplomatic action aimed at getting Cambodian cooperation or acquiescence in dealing
with this problem and bringing about an improvement in US-Cambodian relations.
In view of the increased concern over VC/NVA activity in Cambodia and in order to obtain a clearer picture of the extent
of such activity and its effect upon military operations in South Vietnam, measures designed to expand air intelligence collection
programs and which carry tolerable political risks have been approved. An expanded leaflet operation to reach VC/NVA forces
in relatively sparsely populated border areas of Cambodia has also been approved and a psychological operations plan prepared
for use as authorized (Tab H). Other proposals involving actions by US forces on Cambodian territory, which would have been
difficult to conceal and involved high risk of further worsening our relations with Cambodia, have been deferred pending further
diplomatic efforts to reach some understanding with Cambodians which could lead to an improvement in the existing situation.
These proposals are covered in detail in Section V of the report.
The recommendations of the Study Group are as follows:
that the Study Group's initial report be adopted as the basis for actions concerning Cambodia taken by the respective agencies
involved, in particular Section IV (Political/Diplomatic Plan of Action) and Section V
A. (Approved Actions.)
that Daniel Boone-type operations in the border zone of Northeastern Cambodia be authorized on a case-by-case basis as described
in Tabs K and L./6/
/6/In JCS telegram 5937 to CINCPAC, May 22, the Joint Chiefs informed CINCPAC that Daniel Boone
cross-border operations for northeastern Cambodia were approved subject to certain restrictions: The area was limited; reconnaissance
teams were to total not more than 12 men (with no more than 3 U.S. advisers); tactical airstrikes and/or the commitment of
exploitation forces into Cambodia was not approved; infiltration and exfiltration would be by foot; mission time would be
kept to the minimum; all precautions should be taken to avoid contact with Cambodians; purpose of the operation was intelligence
and verification; no more than three missions could be undertaken at one time; missions required prior JCS approval with notification
of the Department of State; and the operations would not be acknowledged. (Department of Defense, JCS Official Records, 880/211
(22 May 67) IR 2278)6
(3) that those proposals in Section V A. that were partially implemented and those proposals
in Section V B. that were deferred in their entirety, at appropriate intervals be reviewed and considered for expansion or
(4) that the Study Group meet as necessary on an ad hoc basis where new developments call for consideration
of recommendations for specific actions going beyond the guidelines laid down in this report.
(5) that in any case
the Study Group reconvene for a comprehensive review of the situation after a three month period.
[Here follow section
II, "The Nature of the Problem," section III, "U.S. Policy, section IV, "Political/Diplomatic Plan of Action," section V,
"Proposals Considered by the Study Group and Action Taken," and Tabs A-M, and Annexes I and II.]
SEPT - JOHN is in CHERRY STILL - Here are the proposals and decisions on additional cross border operations - Daniel Boone
- and NO CHERRY - and NO AUTHORIZATION for Khmer Serei contact
This brings us to the URL for documents #207 - #215:
209. Action Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs (Habib) to the Under
Secretary of State (Katzenbach)/1/
Washington, September 14, 1967.
/1/Source: Department of State,
Central Files, POL 27 CAMB. Top Secret. Drafted by Lacey and Perry on September 13.
Enemy use of Cambodia over the past year has continued to increase and has become a mounting source of frustration
to the US commitment in Viet-Nam. Since July, the Joint State/Defense/CIA Interagency Study Group on Cambodia has considered
a series of proposals aimed at alleviating the problem. The Southeast Asia Coordinating Committee (SEACOORD), meeting in Saigon
in August, drafted some recommendations which encompassed a new, tougher, overall approach to the Royal Cambodian Government
(RKG). CINCPAC also has offered a program which calls for a more intensive political and military offensive, as well as a
number of requests for enlarged military operations inside the Cambodian border.
The proposals prescribe actions intended
to impel a more forthcoming and cooperative response from Prince Sihanouk with respect to VC/NVA use of Cambodian territory.
They call for greater dissemination of information on enemy use of Cambodia, the initiation of a propaganda campaign, and
the expansion of reconnaissance missions across the Cambodian border. Running through these proposals is the assumption that
if political measures fail to resolve the problem, then more direct action might be required.
relations with Communist China have cooled markedly and there are definite indications of a Cambodian crackdown on internal
communist activity. Although we do not know all the whys- and-wherefores, these developments suggest that the politico-diplomatic
approach to the problem is still useful. It would be unwise, however, to conclude that more political pressures upon the Prince
by itself can force him to change his tune and to become more cooperative. Our leverage is still small.
And yet, the
time has come when the US should pursue its political and diplomatic approaches more systematically, more actively and more
We should do what we have been doing but more aggressively. We should present by official means the evidence
on which we base our deep concern--to the Cambodian Government, to the ICC, and to other selected addressees including the
Geneva Co-Chairmen. For too long we have left the explanation of the border problem to the distortions of Cambodian propagandists.
these actions will leak and will arouse some public stir, since Sihanouk can be expected to make a public rebuttal and countercharge.
And the Soviets might react similarly. But if our case is presented objectively, without accusations of Cambodian complicity,
Sihanouk might be persuaded to take some steps to protect his eroding claim of neutrality. He might, for example, be more
helpful to the ICC investigations, or modify his catechism of complaints before the UN. In seeking to make our case, however,
we should not dilute the credibility of our evidence (which is not the most convincing) by launching a propaganda campaign
as suggested by SEACOORD and CINCPAC.
As for future military operations, whether reconnaissance or direct action, the
pivotal consideration is the magnitude of threat to US objectives that derives from enemy use of Cambodia as sanctuary: does
the problem warrant direct action that would widen the war.
After reviewing the results of intensive intelligence collection
of the past six months, the sanctuary problem would not appear to have vital significance to the successful pursuit of our
overall objectives. In view of our desire to avoid expanding the war, and in the light of the non-critical nature of the Cambodian
sanctuary problem, no direct military action appears justifiable, either now or in the foreseeable future.
problem does, however, pose a threat to allied forces in the border area and we should agree to authorize the extension of
cross border reconnaissance patrols. This will provide our forces with the kind of tactical intelligence needed to defend
against possible attack from across the border; and it will help us to determine any significant changes in the importance
of the problem. Beyond this essentially defensive step, we can live with the situation at its present level.
approved all recommendations on September 16.
1. On past occasions we have informed the Cambodian Government, in notes
delivered by the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh of our concern over the violation of Cambodia's neutrality by the Viet Cong
and North Vietnamese armies. Also in notes to the Cambodian Government we have at various times expressed our willingness
to support ICC investigations of this situation. We have also informed the Cambodian Government of our readiness to meet any
place, any time to discuss this issue and to work out mutually acceptable ways of dealing with it. These official expressions
of our concern should be continued.
2. The USIB has noted two papers prepared on VC/NVA use of Cambodia as a safehaven
area for bases and infiltration. We should transmit the complete versions to Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and transmit
a sanitized version to Japan, India and other selected countries. Our intent is to make clear to other governments the basis
for our concern and hopefully to encourage their emissaries to express our concern to their diplomatic colleagues. To be effective
this course of action will require persistent follow-through. To this end instructions should be sent to our posts in Saigon,
Vientiane and Bangkok which place upon the SEACOORD Working Group the responsibility for prompt reporting of relevant and
timely evidence of VC/NVA use of Cambodia.
3. We have tried intermittently to communicate with the Cambodian Government
through third parties such as Japan and India. These efforts have not proven very fruitful and they do not look promising.
Nevertheless, we should renew the efforts and instruct our ambassadors in Tokyo, New Delhi, Singapore, etc. of our wish to
carry on this course of action.
4. The ICC investigations similarly have not proven useful and they will not become
so unless there is a radical change in the policy of the Indian and Polish Governments. Even so it is desirable that we continue
to put our version of the facts before this forum and establish that we have exhausted all possible avenues. Accordingly,
this particular exercise should be continued.
5. We have not up to now, made much use of the United Nations as a forum
of expressing the United States' case, believing it ill-advised to engage in a public dog-fight with Prince Sihanouk by attempting
to answer his charges, before the United Nations, of US/Viet-Nam aggressions against his territory. Even so we should anticipate
the day when the United States may be called upon to reply formally. Also we should anticipate the day when a White Paper
might be called for. To these ends the Department of State should undertake a special effort to compile the required documentation
in appropriate form.
6. Finally, I call your attention to a separate memorandum (Tab 2) regarding a proposed expansion
of reconnaissance activities in Cambodia./3/ In sum, it provides that military actions across the border exclude everything
except essential defensive measures presently authorized and certain additional reconnaissance missions inside Cambodia.
210. Action Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs (Habib)
to the Under Secretary of State (Katzenbach)/1/
Washington, September 14, 1967.
of State, Central Files, POL 27 CAMB. Top Secret. Drafted by Perry on September 13.
JCS Proposal to Extend
Daniel Boone Operations
Attached at Tab A is the draft authorization message for expanding Daniel Boone operations
inside Cambodia geographically, numerically, and mechanically./2/ The presently authorized area is in the extreme Northeast
(marked in red on map at Tabs B and C). The JCS recommend
1) an extension of the area in a 20 km swath along the border
to the Gulf of Siam; 2) an increase from 10 to 30 operations per month from the Lao border to Lo Go (marked in green on map
at Tab B); 3) additional operations on a case-by-case basis South of Lo Go (marked in black on map at Tab B); and 4) the use
of helicopters for insertion and extraction of the reconnaissance teams.
/2/Tabs A-C are attached, but not printed.
I agree in the need for increased reconnaissance along the Cambodian border, the attached proposal would, if accepted, almost
certainly expose our operations inside Cambodia and might result in direct combat between Cambodian forces and the US-led
Daniel Boone teams.
The use of helicopters multiplies the risk of detection several times. They are highly visible
and audible and would attract the attention of defenders, whether Cambodian or Communist Vietnamese. They are also vulnerable
to ground fire, and if shot down, would provide tangible proof of allied violation of Cambodian territory.
of exposure and combat with Cambodian forces is also greatly increased by operations in the area south of Route 13. From that
point, population density increases and the character of the population changes from predominantly nomadic Montagnard to predominantly
Cambodian farmer, who has been told to defend his home against allied "aggressors", and who in many cases has been provided
with the weapons to do so. This area also contains a greater number of
Cambodian military units.
approved both recommendations on September 16.
I recommend for the foregoing reasons that you approve the following guidelines
for Daniel Boone:
A. Use of helicopters is excluded from Daniel Boone operations except in emergency extractions and
in cases where it can be shown that their use is essential.
B. Daniel Boone operations up to a maximum of 30 a month
are limited to a 20 km belt from Route 13 to the Lao border (marked in blue on Tab
C), except in those cases where
an essential need for reconnaissance can be demonstrated.
211. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense
for International Security Affairs (Warnke) to Secretary of Defense McNamara/1/
October 5, 1967.
/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files, FRC 71 A 4919, Cambodia 000.1--1967
As result of recommendations by the Joint State/Defense/CIA
Study Group for Cambodia, CINCPAC was authorized on 22 May 1967 to conduct limited cross-border ground reconnaissance operations
into the northeast corner of Cambodia, using U.S.-South Vietnamese Special Forces teams (Daniel Boone). The specified area
of operations and other conditions for the initial Daniel Boone program are shown on the map at Tab A./2/ The map at Tab B/3/
shows a sampling of Daniel Boone operations June-September 1967. It illustrates that present restrictions result in Daniel
Boone operations having limited value for tactical or other intelligence purposes.
/2/Tab A was a map that delineated
a 20-kilometer deep zone of operations in a small area of the extreme northeast corner of Cambodia's border with Kontum province
of South Vietnam. Foot infiltration and exfiltration was allowed; helicopters could be used only for emergency exfiltration.
There could only be a maximum of ten missions a month and monthly schedules had to be submitted in advance for Washington-level
/3/Attached, but not printed.
Based on COMUSMACV and CINCPAC recommendations, the Joint Staff representative
on the Cambodia Study Group proposed expanding the area of operations to the full length of the SVN/Cambodian border and authorizing
the use of helicopters to infiltrate and exfiltrate the teams. This proposal was discussed by the Study Group and eventually
reduced to the modified program as shown at Tab C,/4/ which would have provided for use of helicopters for both introduction
and extraction of the teams in the northern part of the area of operations. The Department of State representative non-concurred
on the basis that such use would inevitably result in incidents and should be authorized by Washington on a case by case basis
and only under exceptional circumstances. The length of the area was also objected to on the basis of its extending too far
into areas of population density. State therefore proposed to use Route 13 as the dividing line between sub-areas. Mr. Katzenbach
supported this position.
/4/Tab C was a map that proposed that the border between Cambodia and South Vietnam be divided
into 2 zones. In the northern Alpha zone from the Lao border to Route 13 there could be up to 30 incursions in a 20-kilometer
deep area per month with infiltration and exfiltration by helicopters. Forty-eight-hour notice would be given to Washington.
In the southern Bravo zone from Route 13 along the rest of the Cambodia border, all operations had to be referred to Washington
on a case-by-case basis.
An alternative proposal developed by the Joint Staff to reduce the risk and at the same time
to permit needed operational flexibility is shown at Tab D./5/ It has also been rejected by the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific
Affairs, State. However, Mr. Katzenbach has not addressed this new proposal.
/5/Tab D was the "JCS/DOD minimum proposal,"
which covered the same two zones as in Tab C, but in Alpha zone only 5 of the 30 missions a month could use helicopters and
they would be limited to infiltration of only 10 kilometers. Forty-eight hours' notice would be required. Operations in Bravo
zone would be referred to Washington for approval.
In the memorandum at Tab E,/6/ the Acting Chairman, JCS, requests that
you take this matter up with the Secretary of State to seek his agreement on the alternative program.
September 28. Attached, but not printed.
I recommend that you endorse the concept of operations shown at Tab D and
that you instruct me to take up this proposal with Mr. Katzenbach./7/
/7/McNamara wrote the following note at the end
of the memorandum:
"10/6. Discuss with Nick [Katzenbach]--I lean to 'modified C' if Nick disagrees with D.R. McN."
The next set - John has been arrested - No mention of this - and CIA
in the end of recommendations - Helms says, I'll think about it - END OF 214 highlighted - It is obvious that CIA disbands
Cherry to avoid the inevitable finding out of what they are doing in light of above - It is becoming obvious that a change
in policy is coming about - ie more operations and in all of this - NO MODIFICATION of no contact with Khmer Serei -
Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Australia/1/
Washington, November 29, 1967, 0225Z.
Department of State, Central Files, POL 32-1 CAMB-VIET S. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by Bundy, cleared in substance
with Rostow at the White House, and approved by Rusk.
76054. 1. After careful consideration here, we are today requesting
GOA to transmit to Cambodian Government note and evidence set forth below concerning VC/NVA use of Cambodian territory. Transmission
of note would be accompanied by oral statement, as contained para 8 below, that USG would not make public this summary.
Intended purpose is to convey to RKG on confidential basis clear picture of massive evidence available to us on this subject.
We intend to position note and material in ICC and other capitals for possible later transmission depending on developments.
Septels will cover this in light of timing of actual transmission.
3. By agreement with GOA Embassy here, we and they
are suggesting that transmission be via Bangkok, to avoid excessive strain on GOA communications facilities to Phnom Penh.
Bangkok should therefore transfer note and supporting evidence to appropriate stationery and get in touch with GOA Embassy
there to put this in their hands. GOA Embassy Bangkok will in turn be receiving appropriate instructions from Canberra.
Exact timing of delivery not yet finally determined. We have today discussed factors that point in our minds to going ahead
soonest and have urged GOA in this direction. However, no final Canberra decision has yet been made.
5. Saigon should
hold this information to itself for time being. We anticipate instructing you to inform GVN at time of final delivery. However,
consistent with intended confidential basis, we believe you should consider how this can best be done to minimize danger of
GVN leak. Please give us your recommendations. We would be inclined to have you go personally to Thieu and/or Do stressing
that any hope for effectiveness depends in our judgment on preserving confidential basis. (FYI: We of course recognize that
Sihanouk may so act as to compel future publicity, but we will cross this bridge when we get to it. End FYI.) Needless to
say, this whole action should be restricted to tightest need-to-know circle, and all who are necessarily brought in should
be cautioned in strongest terms against any leak.
6. Canberra should immediately convey full contents this cable at
appropriate levels. GOA Embassy already has all elements of this message.
7. Following is text of note to be delivered
/2/Text also printed in American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1966, pp. 1039-1040.
"The United States has the honor to request the Embassy of Australia to deliver the following information to the Royal Cambodian
The United States has regretted the impairment of its relations with Cambodia. Despite differences, however,
the United States continues to respect the neutrality, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Cambodia.
particularly distressing problem dividing the United States and Cambodia arises out of incidents in the Cambodia-South Viet-Nam
border area. The United States wishes to emphasize that American forces operating in South Viet-Nam are engaged in conflict
with Viet Cong-North Vietnamese forces committing aggression against South Viet-Nam. The American forces have no hostile intentions
toward Cambodia or Cambodian territory. The root cause of incidents affecting Cambodian territory is the Viet Cong and North
Vietnamese presence in the frontier region, and their use of Cambodian territory in violation of the neutrality of Cambodia.
United States has offered to cooperate in seeking a solution to this problem. Following the suggestion of His Royal Highness
Prince Sihanouk for more effective action by the International Control Commission, made most notably in December of 1965,
the United States has consistently supported such action and has indicated its willingness to consider sympathetically any
request for specific assistance to this end.
At the time, the Royal Cambodian Government suggested that the International
Control Commission might undertake continuing and effective review of activities in the port of Sihanoukville, and it was
further suggested that the Commission might be expanded so that it could more effectively monitor the border areas between
Cambodia and South Viet-Nam.
In addition, the United States has supported an international conference on Cambodia,
and it has also suggested direct, informal talks with Cambodian officials in order to seek an alternative remedy.
United States is deeply concerned over the critical issue of Viet Cong-North Vietnamese use of Cambodian territory and it
wishes to emphasize once more its willingness to cooperate in any reasonable method of controlling this problem.
Royal Cambodian Government may not be aware of the extent of Viet Cong-North Vietnamese use of its territory, and the United
States therefore wishes to provide it with the attached summary of some of the evidence available. The documents and interrogations
from which this evidence has been compiled are fully available if desired. Additional evidence received in more recent periods
is being assessed, and may be presented to the Royal Cambodian Government at a later time.
The United States believes
that the Royal Cambodian Government will share its concern over Viet Cong-North Vietnamese use of neutral Cambodian territory.
It is in the spirit of assisting the Royal Cambodian Government in its efforts to prevent violations of its neutral territory
that this evidence is presented." [End text.]
8. Apart from transmitting the note, Deschamps will be instructed to
make the following oral statement on delivery to RKG:
"The United States Government has made clear to my Government
that the note and attached evidence that I am now presenting is being provided on a confidential basis to the Royal Cambodian
Government. This is in keeping with the spirit of the note as stated in its last paragraph.
Inevitably, the United
States Government will have to continue to respond to press questions by general statements that it has communicated with
the Royal Cambodian Government over a long period on this subject. Moreover, individual reports bearing on this matter may
continue to receive some publicity through circumstances often beyond the control of US authority. Nonetheless, the purpose
of the United States Government in presenting the full summary of the evidence to the Royal Cambodian Government is as stated
in the last paragraph of the note, and the United States Government does not intend to make public the summary of evidence
attached to the note."
[Here follows evidence cited in paragraph 1 above to be presented to the Cambodian Government
in conjunction with the note. The remaining portion of the cable totals 20 pages.]
From the Commander in Chief, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Westmoreland) to the Joint Chiefs of Staff/1/
December 5, 1967, 0815Z.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 5E (1)a, 5/66-1/68,
Cambodia. Top Secret; Limdis; Exclusive for Wheeler. Repeated to Rusk, McNamara, and Sharp. This telegram was retyped in the
White House and used at a lunch-eon meeting on December 5; for a record of the meeting, see Document 214; and apparently referred
to at the meeting of 6:02 p.m. of December 5, see Document 216.
MAC J00 40588. 1. (TS) Admiral Sharp and I have discussed
the enemy situation in the tri-border area and he concurs that action as recommended below should be taken.
We are receiving increasing hard intelligence of enemy force concentrations in the Cambodian "peninsula" of the tri-border
area west of Dak To. Generally, the observed NVA presence encompasses all of the Cambodian peninsula north and east of YB6200.
We have firm indications that the 1st NVA Div HQ is now located at YB675110, with the 32d, 66th and 174th Regts dispersed
throughout the peninsula recovering from the severe beating given them over the past few weeks.
3. (TS) Reports state
that enemy units are not disposed in an alert or defensive posture; rather, they are utilizing their Cambodian sanctuary to
rest, regroup and reconstitute openly and unmolested. There is no evidence of heavy bunker construction, we believe that the
motorable road and bridges at YB736212 and YB736208 are of prime importance to the NVA in the movement of supplies out of
Base Area 609 into South Vietnam.
4. (TS) The situation as outlined above, presents a unique opportunity for pursuit
by fire. The area is remote; the border is ill-defined; there are no known civilians in the area or Cambodian presence; the
delivery of fire easily concealed from scrutiny; and more significantly, the enemy's dangerous activities fulfill all the
criteria for substantiating the hot pursuit concept. Strike Teams on Station will provide for observation of fire and reports
of enemy locations, reaction and subsequent movement.
5. (TS) Request earliest approval to attack this concentration
of enemy force by fire employing B-52 strikes for sustained period of at least 72 hours, high intensity TAC air strikes are
particularly urged since exposure of this action would be minimal, and this weapons system will provide maximum surprise and
shock effect. B-52 strikes only at night would be acceptable.
6. (TS) There are two aspects of this request which I
recognize as sensitive. First, the timing may be considered poor because of the efforts which we are right now making to confront
Sihanouk with evidence of NVA use of Cambodia. Secondly, B-52 strikes will leave a clear signature in Cambodian territory.
However, I feel strongly that the opportunity which exists is sufficiently important that it should be exploited now, and
if necessary explain our actions as hot pursuit by fire in an uninhabited area. The key point is to strike this concentration
expeditiously and with full force if we are to gain maximum advantage.
7. (U) Amb. Bunker has read this message and
214. Notes of Meeting/1/
Washington, December 5, 1967, 1:18-2:37 p.m.
Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. No classification marking. The meeting was held in the living quarters of
the White House. Attending were President Johnson, Vice President Humphrey, McNamara, Rusk, Vance, Helms, Rostow, George Christian,
and Tom Johnson.
[Here follows discussion unrelated to Cambodia.]
Secretary McNamara said two cables came in from
General Westmoreland concerning possible campaigns in Laos and Cambodia./2/
/2/For the cable on Cambodia, see Document
General Wheeler said that there are 5,000 troops and supplies in the Tri-Border area. There are three regiments and
bridges which are important to the resupply of the enemy operating out of Cambodia. The first North Vietnamese division withdrew.
Its headquarters is a mile from the border and 15 miles from Dakto.
General Wheeler said the enemy is not to go in.
They are refitting and replenishing their manpower.
We propose the use of B-52s and tactical aircraft for 72 hours.
The B-52s could operate at night.
General Wheeler said that General Westmoreland discussed this operation with Ambassador
Bunker. Ambassador Bunker concurs.
General Wheeler pointed out that there is no question that all of this is in Cambodia.
have known for two years that these people have been there."
Secretary McNamara said this action raises very serious political
problems which outweigh the military gains. Secretary Rusk said he would draw a distinction between operations in Laos and
operations in Cambodia. He said he would also draw a distinction between full-scale operations and a raid.
Rusk said that if we hit the enemy in Cambodia and possibly kill Cambodian personnel, this may give them reasons to commit
their forces against us.
Secretary McNamara said that the President could veto a "stop the bombing" resolution in the
United Nations because of world and domestic reaction. The Secretary said the action against Cambodia would destroy us in
In addition, the Secretary said that the U.S. cannot run B-52s around the clock without public knowledge of
Dick Helms said he would like to look at this before making a recommendation. Secretary Rusk asked if U.S. forces
were going on with night and day raids against infiltration routes used by the regiment which is being brought into South
General Wheeler said yes, to the best of our ability. General Wheeler said the proposal was to use a South
Vietnamese Airborne Brigade in area 607 to destroy troops and ammunition. He said it is occupied by supply centers and troops.
He said the raid would take three days and would involve 1,500 to 1,600 South Vietnamese troops along with about 30 U.S. advisors.
McNamara said the Laos situation is different. He said the border is ill-defined. He said the chances of getting caught are
Secretary Rusk said there is not a fraction of as much a problem in Laos as there is in Cambodia.
McNamara said he recommended going ahead with the Laos operation. Secretary Rusk agreed.
The President approved.
URL's For State Department Documents Part 6 (In Reverse Order)
----- Original Message -----
From: Goldencoast Publishing
Cc: john mccarthy
Sent: Thursday, June 12,
2003 3:47 PM
Subject: FW: Part 6 - First Mention of use of Khmer Serei - December 1967- After Cherry Disbanded
From: Goldencoast Publishing
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 02:12:07 -0700
Subject: Part 6 - First Mention of use of Khmer Serei - December 1967 - After
We now know when policy shifts - The following is when - and John is in jail awaiting trial - unknownst to the policy makers
- The rest of the history speaks for itself - the CIA rogue becomes the US policy in 1970.
to documents #216 - #223
219. Memorandum From Marshall Wright of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant
Washington, December 12, 1967.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 5E(1)a, 5/66-1/68, Cambodia. Top Secret; Nodis.
What to do about Cambodia
You asked for an alternative to a military "solution" to the Communist use of
1. Close the Mekong River to Cambodian-bound traffic. (Before the end of the day I should have a study from the Agency
on the effects of this. Frankly, I do not expect its economic impact would be anything like crippling. But it would have a
good psychological effect both here and there.)
2. Vigorous pursuit of the preclusive buying of Cambodian food supplies available to enemy. We do not know how effective
such a program could be. At least, however, we ought to be able to complicate and make more expensive communist use of Cambodia
as a supply source.
3. Make use of the anti-Sihanouk Khmer Serei elements in South Vietnam and Thailand. There are dangers in this but they
are dwarfed by the disadvantages of overt military action against Cambodia. If a rejuvenated Khmer Serei does nothing else,
it might convince Sihanouk and others in the Cambodian Government that their own interests lie in trying to minimize Cambodia's
availability to the Communists as a sanctuary.
4. Mount a black operation to create in Phnom Penh Rangoon-type riots and demonstrations (ostensibly the work of the Chinese
community). Sihanouk has already proved his extreme sensitivity to Chinese misconduct. We would not have to create much of
a "Chinese disturbance" to send him up the wall again with all that this would imply for a more vigorous approach by him to
restrain Communist freedom of action in Cambodia.
5. A re-invigorated effort against the Communist supply line in Southern Laos. [2 lines of source text not declassified]
Before we go down the road of a widened war in Cambodia, we ought to try the intensification of the one everybody knows about
in Laos. (There was a technical discovery some months ago of tremendous promise for making the Ho Chi Minh trail unusable
for a substantial part of the year. Its name was Operation Mud./2/ I do not know its present status, but if it lives up to
its promise it would go far to reducing the Cambodian problem to manageable proportions.
/2/Operation Commando Lava, see Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, vol. XXVIII, for documentation on this operation.
Of course, all of the above will not work. But they do not all need to work to bring or to keep the Cambodian problem down
to tolerable levels. They would serve also to alert domestic and world opinion to this problem and give us a period in which
people could be prepared for sterner action should it become necessary.
Although I know you are aware of my views on this, I feel bound to repeat that I believe American public reaction to military
action against Cambodia would be God-awful. I cannot believe that the military significance of the enemy's use of Cambodia
is so great that it justifies taking a step so destructive of American public support of the war in Vietnam. In time, the
American public could be prepared for what will certainly be viewed as a widened war. But it has not been prepared yet.
NOTE - This is the only reference I see to use of Khmer Serei - It is not responded to and the subject is never broached
again - Note - by this time John is in prison -
The next is State Department Abbreviations and Code names - I only went to the D's to show before and after - Note
- Daniel Boone is there - Cherry is Not
State Department Abbreviations and Code names:
Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence (U.S. Army)
Agency for International Development
Australia, New Zealand Army Corps
Australia, New Zealand, and Malaysia
Australia, New Zealand, United States
Accelerated Rural Development
Accelerated Rural Development Program
Army of the Republic of Vietnam
Association of Southeast Asia
Asian and Pacific Council
British Army of the Rhine
code name for interdiction and close air support operations in Laos
four engine, turbot propeller, long-range transport aircraft
Controlled American Source (MY NOTE - IN LAOS CAS also stands for Combined area studies - CIA Code Name)
Central Treaty Organization
Chief, Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group
Chief, Military Assistance Advisory Group
Central Intelligence Agency
Office of National Estimates, Central Intelligence Agency
Inter-American Committee for the Alliance for Progress
Citizens' Irregular Defense Group
Commander in Chief, Pacific
Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Thailand
Commander in Crhief, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
continental United States
Central Office for South Vietnam
Communist Party of Malaya
Counter Insurgency Operations Command
Communist terrorists; Chinese teams; Country Team
codename for cross border intelligence operations in northeast Cambodia
Director of Central Intelligence
Deputy Directorate of Operations, East Asia, Central Intelligence Agency
Department of State circular telegram
Defense Intelligence Agency
Democratic Republic of Vietnam
RE: Cherry: I will next quote from the Secret Transcript of CID interrogation concerning
Cherry, and it's relation to Khmer Serei - and their mission - Will fax copy separate to you
the Kemer Serai (sp) think you're Special Forces --- If so, why?"
A - Kemer Serai, sir, thinks some of the people involved
in Cherry ... they know .. are Special Forces..." ...
Q - "What position did he (Inchin Lam my note) hold in the Kemer
A - "He's the third-ranking person in the Kemer Serai. He is well known. If the Kemer Serai wants the Americans
to back Cambodia, which they thought... he believed ... will happen, the Kemer Serai goes in, overthrows the government, and
removes the Prime Minister."
Here are some writings about the Khmer Serei found at URL
- According to Frank Snepp, the CIA's principal political analyst in Vietnam at this time, in early 1970 the Agency was
cultivating both Lon Nol and Son Ngoc Thanh, leader of the Khmer Serei, as possible replacements for Sihanouk. The CIA believed,
he says, that if Lon Nol came to power, "He would welcome the United States with open arms and we would accomplish everything."
(This, presumably, meant carte blanche to wipe out Vietnamese Communist forces and sanctuaries in Cambodia, as opposed to
Sihanouk's extremely equivocal position on the matter.) Both men, as matters turned out, served as prime minister in the new
government, for which diplomatic recognition was immediately forthcoming from Washington.
- The United States could seemingly also rely on Sirik Matak, a committed anti-Communist who had been profiled by the Pentagon's
Defense Intelligence Agency as "a friend of the West and ... co-operative with U.S. officials during the 1950s."
- Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, in his biographic work on Kissinger, states that Sihanouk's immediate overthrow
had been for years a high priority of the Green Berets reconnaissance units operating inside Cambodia since the late 1960s.
There is also incontrovertible evidence that Lon Nol was approached by agents of American military intelligence in 1969 and
asked to overthrow the Sihanouk government. Sihanouk made similar charges in his 1973 memoir, My War With The CIA, but they
were not taken seriously then....
- The CIA's intimate links to the conspiratorial circle are exemplified by an Agency report prepared six days before the
coup, entitled "Indications of Possible Coup in Phnom Penh". It disclosed that anti-Communist demonstrations against the Vietcong
and North Vietnamese embassies in the capital the previous day had been planned by Sirik Matak and Lon Nol as part of a showdown
policy against Sihanouk and his followers, and that the two men had put the army on alert "to prepare ... for a coup against
Sihanouk if Sihanouk refused to support" them.
- General William Rosson, deputy to General Creighton Abrams, the Commander of US Forces in Vietnam at the time, has declared
that American commanders were informed several days beforehand that a coup was being planned and that United States support
- Roger Morris, who was serving under Henry Kissinger on the National Security Council staff when the coup took place, reported
that "It was clear in the White House that the CIA station in Phnom Penh knew the plotters well, probably knew their plans,
and did nothing to alert Sihanouk. They informed Washington well in advance of the coup."
The following is a background to the Khmer Serei - Sihanouk Problem - Son Ngoc
Thanh was part of the group that Cherry worked with - and provided the evidence of the KGB connections of Inchin Lam - also
provided John with plate of gold when Inchin Lam died - Note in above - 1970 was listed by Snepp as when CIA and Khmer Serei
were listed as being connected - Docs we have show 1967 and earlier - despite the prohibition of connection between USA and
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
95/03/06 Foreign Relations, 1961-63, Vol XXIII, Southeast Asia
Office of the Historian
Office of the Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs
United States Department of State
March 6, 1995 ............
Sihanouk believed the most serious dangers to Cambodia's survival came from Thailand and South Vietnam, rather than from
Communist China, the Soviet Union, or even North Vietnam.
With the memory of recent plots against him hatched by Cambodian opponents in Thailand and by members of the South Vietnam
Government, Sihanouk constantly suspected that his enemies in Bangkok and Saigon were planning his overthrow or his assassination.
Because both Thailand and South Vietnam were firmly allied with the United States, Sihanouk believed that those states acted
with the full knowledge, support, and approval of their patron. There was little the United States could do to disabuse Sihanouk
of this view. (77)
Fear of his immediate neighbors spurred Sihanouk in mid- 1962 to seek an international agreement guaranteeing Cambodia's
neutrality and territorial integrity. Sihanouk threatened that Cambodia would accept Chinese and Soviet protection should
his plan not be accepted. (89, 90)
The United States balked at granting guarantees on the grounds that they would seriously impact U.S. military and economic
aid to Cambodia, require American military advisers to withdraw from the country, and negatively affect U.S. relations with
both Thailand and South Vietnam. (94, 98) Finding little support from the major Western powers, Sihanouk eventually shelved
the issue in mid-1963. (107)
The question of guarantees would have been unnecessary if Cambodia and its neighbors had been able to settle their differences
diplomatically. Cambodia broke relations with Thailand in 1960 and was on the verge of doing the same with South Vietnam by
Allegations of border violations and support for opposition groups and similar issues poisoned regional relations and eventually
U.S.-Cambodian relations as well. (95, 100) Regional rivalries were so prevalent that the President's Military Representative,
General Maxwell Taylor, concluded in September 1962 that Sihanouk's "morbid fear" of Thailand and South Vietnam had "created
a situation of tension and emotionalism which might blow up at any time." (93)
In late 1963, the blow-up occurred. Sihanouk became increasingly agitated by the presence of Cambodian dissidents in Thailand
and South Vietnam. By autumn, the issue absorbed him and he fixated on the dissident Khmer Serei, or Free Cambodians, created
by his old enemy Son Ngoc Thanh. The Khmer Serei began broadcasting anti-Sihanouk messages into Cambodia from a transmitter
thought to be in South Vietnam. Sihanouk publicly and vehemently condemned the group and their broadcasts. Although the Khmer
Serei was small in number (about 400) and had no appreciable support within Cambodia, Sihanouk expended an inordinate amount
of energy agitating against the group and its radio broadcasts. Sihanouk also raised allegations about U.S. complicity with
the group. (108, 109)
Already upset by the Khmer Serei radio broadcasts, Sihanouk was further shaken by the coup in South Vietnam and the assassination
of President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu in Saigon on November 1, 1963. Believing that the United States and
the Central Intelligence Agency were behind the coup, Sihanouk saw himself as the next target. His agitation was compounded
by the effects of a rigid dietary regimen he had recently begun. The combination made him emotionally overwrought and prone
to impulsive, irrational behavior. (108)
Found at this source:
The Library of Congress -> Federal Research Division -> Country Studies -> Cambodia -> Appendix B.: Major Political
and Military Organizations
Khmer Serei (Free Khmer)
An anti-Sihanouk group under Son Ngoc Thanh's leadership emanating from
the anti-French resistance movement called the Khmer Issarak (q.v.), located in southeastern Cambodia; in armed opposition
to the Sihanouk regime from 1959 on, but dissolved itself shortly after the deposition of Sihanouk in March 1970. Right wing,
The history of one Khmer Serei who joined organizations in 1964 with Beret ties is found at
From the Book " My War With The CIA - Chapter 4 " By Norodom Sihanouk and Wilfred Burchett