On 13 June 1971, General Alexander Haig, then Deputy Assistant to the President for Military Affairs, was the first to discuss with RN The New York Times‘ publication —that Sunday morning— of the first installment of the study that became known as the Pentagon Papers.
RN refers to Mel Laird, who was Secretary of Defense, and General Haig refers to the McGovern-Hatfield Amendment that required complete withdrawal of all American troops from Vietnam by 31 December 1971. Although it had been defeated in the Senate in October 1970, it remained the subject of discussion and controversy through 1971. He also mentions Clark Clifford, the ubiquitous Democrat who was one of the legendary Wise Men as well as one of Wasington’s most famous fixers. He had succeeded Robert McNamara as LBJ’s Secretary of Defense. After initially deciding to support Johnson’s policies in Vietnam, he turned against the war.