Tuesday, January 30, 1973 - 6:56pm - 6:57pm
Richard Nixon, Patrick Buchanan
White House Telephone

Patrick Buchanan: Yes, sir?

President Nixon: Get me an estimate of the number of civilians. The [New York] Times distorted and rather poorly done--but the number of civilians, and this includes assassinated, killed, etcetera, etcetera--

Buchanan: Right.

President Nixon: --by the North Vietnamese in the ten years of the war.

Buchanan: And the VC? Right.

President Nixon: You see what I mean?

Buchanan: Yes, sir.

President Nixon: Right. What I mean, Pat, there are so many civilians have been killed deliberately. Do you see what I mean?

Buchanan: Right, right.

President Nixon: And I'm not looking at the goddamned assassination thing, but I mean when they shell An Loc they're killing civilians deliberately, right?1

Buchanan: Right, OK, sir. Bye-bye.

President Nixon: Fine. Rather than just aiming at military targets, see?

Buchanan: OK, fine sir, bye.

  • 1. A story in the previous day's New York Times said: "An Loc, once a pretty city, has been described as a moonscape of rubble and dust after its long and successful battle against invading North Vietnamese." Jerry M. Flint, "An Army Colonel from Michigan is Last American to Die in War," New York Times, 29 January 1973.

Original tape courtesy of the Nixon Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.