Westmoreland v. CBS Collection, 1966 - 1983 (MSS 155)


Extent: 14 Linear feet (14 records cartons)

The WESTMORELAND VERSUS CBS COLLECTION contains many of the joint exhibits entered into the record during the libel suit of General William Westmoreland against the Columbia Broadcasting Company in 1985. Included are photocopies of interview transcripts, notes, memoranda, cables, CIA records, books, and newspaper articles.

On January 23, 1982, the Columbia Broadcasting System aired a CBS Reports documentary entitled "The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception," which suggested inaccuracies in United States estimates of North Vietnamese troop strengths between 1966-1968. General William C. Westmoreland, who commanded the U.S. Military Assistance Command in Vietnam between 1964 and 1968, sued CBS, several CBS employees, and former CIA analyst Samuel Adams for libel on September 13, 1982. Westmoreland argued that the documentary defamed him because it asserted that he had led a conspiracy to manipulate intelligence on enemy troop sizes.

The trial was held in federal district court in New York City and lasted four months. During the trial, both sides introduced prodigious amounts of evidence into the record. On February 19, 1985, both parties agreed to dismiss the case.


The WESTMORELAND/CBS COLLECTION was acquired by the UCSD Library in 1985 from UCSD Political Science Professor Samuel Popkin. Popkin served as a consultant to CBS attorneys Cravath, Swaine, & Moore of New York during the suit. Complete sets of the Westmoreland versus CBS exhibits are available at the libraries of Yale University and the University of California, Berkeley.

The WESTMORELAND VERSUS CBS COLLECTION contains photocopies of a large selection of joint exhibits presented to the court. The exhibits are arranged numerically and organized in one series: JOINT EXHIBITS.

The JOINT EXHIBITS are described in the official "Exhibit List," which also provides the specification of objections and court notations for each item. Items included in UCSD's collection are marked on the left margin of the list.

Included in the JOINT EXHIBITS are notes by George Crile of CBS and Samuel Adams; interview transcripts; memoranda and cables between government officials and the United States Military Assistance Command Vietnam (USMACV); photocopies of Central Intelligence Agency records; military assessments; correspondence; and photocopies of books and newspaper articles.

Container List


Box 1 Folder 1
Exhibits List
Box 1 Folder 2-38
JX 1 - JX 46B
Box 2 Folder 1-45
JX 46C - JX 104
Box 3 Folder 1-40
JX 105A - JX 159A
Box 4 Folder 1-43
JX 160 - JX 209
Box 5 Folder 1-39
JX 210 - JX 311A
Box 6 Folder 1-25
JX 311A - JX 315
Box 7 Folder 1-25
JX 315 - JX 318C
Box 8 Folder 1-24
JX 319 - JX 325A
Box 9 Folder 1-50
JX 326A - JX 363
Box 10 Folder 1-148
JX 363A - JX 506
Box 11 Folder 1-92
JX 506A - JX 636
Box 12 Folder 1-15
JX 636 - JX 641B
Box 13 Folder 1-55
JX 641B - JX 939
Box 14 Folder 1-34
JX 940 - JX 1418