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MSS 88-4

Edward O. McCue Records Pertaining to Westmoreland v. CBS and Other Miscellaneous Files


Photocopies relating to the case of Westmoreland v. CBS and memorabilia.

1967-1983 [Inclusive]
2 Linear Feet

Scope & Contents

This collection contains copies of records compiled by Edward O. McCue to disclaim assertions made against General William Westmoreland on a CBS program aired on January 23, 1982.

Collection Description

    Biographical / Historical

    Mike Wallace interviewed Westmoreland for the CBS special The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception. The documentary, shown on January 23, 1982, and prepared largely by CBS producer George Crile III, alleged that Westmoreland and others had deliberately underestimated Viet Cong troop strength during 1967 in order to maintain US troop morale and domestic support for the war. Westmoreland filed a lawsuit against CBS.

    In Westmoreland v. CBS, Westmoreland sued Wallace and CBS for libel, and a lengthy legal process began. After the trial was in progress, Westmoreland suddenly settled with CBS for an apology, no more than CBS had originally offered. Some contend that Judge Leval's instructions to the jury over what constituted "actual malice" to prove libel convinced Westmoreland's lawyers that he was certain to lose. Others point out that the settlement occurred after two of Westmoreland's former intelligence officers, Major General Joseph McChristian and Colonel Gains Hawkins, testified to the accuracy of the substantive allegations of the broadcast, which were that Westmoreland ordered changes in intelligence reports on Viet Cong troop strengths for political reasons. Disagreements persist about the appropriateness of some of the journalistic methods of Mike Wallace in particular.

    A deposition by McChristian indicates that his organization developed improved intelligence on the number of irregular Viet Cong combatants shortly before he left Vietnam on a regularly scheduled rotation. The numbers troubled Westmoreland, who feared that the press would not understand them. He did not order them changed, but instead did not include the information in reporting to Washington, which in his view was a decision that the data were not appropriate to report.

    Based on later analysis of the information from all sides, it appears clear that Westmoreland could not sustain a libel suit because CBS's principal allegation was that he had caused intelligence officers to suppress facts. Westmoreland's anger was caused by the implication of the broadcast that his intent was fraudulent and that he ordered others to lie.

    Wikipedia contributors, "William Westmoreland," Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    These materials were donated to Special Collections in two installments in 1982 and 1988.

otherlevelPortions of New York Times Indices on Vietnam for 1967-1968, 1973, 1975 and 1976 and Washington Post for 1975, 1967-1968, 1973, 1975, 1976MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevel1967-1968 news articles on MACV reporting of estimates of enemy strength, 1967-1968MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelNewspaper articles reporting Sam Adams' appearance as witness for Daniel Ellsberg in the Pentagon Papers trial alleging fabrication of enemy intelligence estimates by MACV and CIAMSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelPhotocopies of Harper's Magazine May 1975 issue index page and selected pages from Sam Adams article alleging cover up of enemy strenghths by CIA and MACVMSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelParts 2 and 5 of transcripts of hearings held by House of Representatives Select Committee on Intelligence on "the nature and quality of our intelligence operations in Vietnam in the period preceding the (1968) Tet offensive," September and December, 1975MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelPhotocopies of newspaper articles reporting testimony by Sam Adams and others before House Select Intelligence CommitteeMSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelPhotocopy of portions of The Village Voice of February 16, 1976 24 page Special Supplement alleged to be sections of House Select Intelligence Committee report based on September and December, 1975 hearings (otherwise known as "Pike Papers" fron name of cMSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevel1982 New York Times and Washington Post indices portions on Vietnam, 1982MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelPre-broadcast review newspaper articlesMSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelReport of Mike Wallace and producer George Crile interview by Diana Sawyer on CBS Morning Program 1/21/82, 1/21/82MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelPost-program commentariesMSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelPhotocopy of TV Guide May 29-June 24, 1982 article, "Anatomy of a Smear," by Don Kowet and Sally Bedell, 05-29-1982 to 06-24-1982MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelPost-TV Guide and newspaper articlesMSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelMemorandum of CBS News President, Van Gordon Sauter, regarding CBS' internal review of program productionMSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelPost-CBS' memorandum newspaper articlesMSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelArticle on controversy by Colonels Zane F. FInkelstein USA and Donald P. Shaw USAMSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelArticle by Colonel Donald P. Shaw USA on unsuccessful efforts to get article on controversy publishedMSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelArticle on controversy by Commander Edward O. McCue, III, USNR (retired)MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelArticle in Armed Forces Journal International, December 1982, p.8 citing articles by Colonels Finkelstein and Sahw and Commander McCue, December 1982MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelLetter dated 8/10/1982 from Gen. Westmoreland to CBS President Wyman requesting apology, retraction and compensation, 8/10/1982MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelLetter dated 8/24/82 from CBS Nes President Van Gordon Sauter to Gen. Westmoreland rejecting requests, 8/24/82MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelStatement of General Westmoreland 9/13/82 announcing filing suit against CBS, 9/13/82MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelBill of Complaint filed by General WestmorelandMSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelGen. Westmoreland's Amended Answer to CBS' Interrogatory no.11MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelDeposition of Michael B. Hankins, former U.S. Army officer in Order of Battle Branch, Combined Intelligence Center, Vietman, MACV J-2MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelPress Statement dated 12/27/83 regarding affidavits and documents filed by Gen. Westmoreland, 12/27/83MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelList of affidavits filed by Gen. Westmoreland 12/27/83, 12/27/83MSS 88-4, Box 1
otherlevelDocuments filed by Gen. Westmoreland 12/27/83, 12/27/83MSS 88-4, Box 2
otherlevelGen. Westmoreland's Memo of Law in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and for Summary JudgementMSS 88-4, Box 2
otherlevelMemorandum of Law Appendix A of Affidavits in support of Gen. Westmoreland's Opposition to Defedant's motionMSS 88-4, Box 2
otherlevelGen. Westmoreland's Counter-Statement of Undisputed Material Facts Pursuant to Local Rule 3 (g) and Appedix B- Important Documents Cited in Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's MotionMSS 88-4, Box 2
otherlevelElectrostate Copy of full page of New York Times ad. for CBS program "The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception", 1/22/1982MSS 88-4, Box 2
seriesAddendum to Edward O. McCue Records: Miscellaneous Files
itemVirginia Committee on Statues of Great LawyersMSS 88-4
itemMemoranda, invitations and photographs of busts of Sir William Blackstone, John Marshall, George Wythe by Felix de Welden, sculptorMSS 88-4
itemGroup photograph in front of busts: Lewis Powell Jr., Davis Y. Paschall, James E. Palmer Jr., Edward O. McCue III, Felix [illeg.] W. de Weldon; Robert L. Simpson, William L Ellis, Mortimer Caplin, Rev. Frederick Brown Harris, J. Vaughn Gary, Arthur B. HanMSS 88-4