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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!

Telegram Shows Attempt To Squelch March.

The following is a reprint of the original text, unclassified message, received 28 August 1968 at Headquarters, USAF Communications Center. All details of the text are exactly as originally transmitted.

Personal. For General McConnell from General Estes
Sub. 2nd Lieutenant Hugh F. Smith
I am informed that facts and circumstances of this maatter have been discussed with you by General Manss and Capucci and that there is secretarial interest. Smith is organizing "A Peace in Viet-Nam" demonstration for men in uniform to take place in San Francisco. He applied for and received a permit for the demonstration to be held 21 September, subsequently permit changed to October 12. Strongly believe this demonstrationb should be quashed if possible because of possible severe impact on military discipline throughout the armed services. There is no AFR specifically prohibiting this type of activity, AFR 35-78 is pointed solely to civil rights demonstration, such things are naational. Policy considerations in such an order it should emaanate from DOD or at least Air Force Level. I reccomend this be done at once so that Smith will realize that if he proceeds he subjects himself with certainty to criminal punitive action. In the absence of a regulation or order specifically prohibiting such activity believe any criminal prosecution would be tenuous to say the least, particulaarly in view of the political climate of the day. If the foregoing is unattainable, I reluctantly recommend that we be given authority to proceed with dispatch with the AFR 36-3 action which has been recommended by the Commander 349th MAW and concurred in by General Sherril, Commander 22AF. I realize this would result in a Discharge Under Honorable Conditions, but the disposition of Smith is relatively unimportant as compared to the highly undesirable impact on militaary discipline if Armed Forces personnel are permitted to demonstrate, in uniform, against National defense policies with impunity.
The Pentagon, Washington D.C.
29 August 1968

The Ally, no. 10

 

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