Frank Snepp’s Comment

I interrupt my series on “Fiction in Name Only” to post a comment Frank Snepp left on the New York Times site (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/03/opinion/vietnam-tet-offensive.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region) where my article on Dak To is posted. Frank, a CIA analyst in Saigon in 1975, is the author of the 1977 book Decent Interval which told the story of the fall of Vietnam.

“Pacific Palisades, CA November 14, 2017

“Human intelligence beat NSA to the scoop in 1967 and 1975, or at least shared the empty glory. As the CIA’s declassified history of the war indicates, my colleague in Saigon Bob Layton correctly divined the on-coming Tet Offensive weeks before it happened and was ignored by his superiors at Langley. The CIA’s best penetration inside the Communist command advised the CIA Station on August 8, 1975 and me personally on August 17 that the NVA would not stop for a negotiated settlement, and meant to seize Saigon militarily as exactly they did. Ambassador Martin and Station Chief Tom Polgar brushed aside that warning as easily as they did the NSA’s indicators. Their capacity for disastrous wishful thinking and deference to multiple false prophets, including the French, Hungarians, Poles, Soviets and Henry Kissinger resulted in a chaotic evacuation of which NSA’s Vietnamese employees and counterparts were scarcely the only victims.”

Frank and I were acquainted in Saigon, but I didn’t know that CIA analysts in Saigon also warned the Ambassador and CIA Chief of Station, Tom Polgar. I rest my case.

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