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Westmoreland Versus CBS Collection
MSS 0155  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Historical Background
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Creator: Cravath, Swaine & Moore
    Title: Westmoreland Versus CBS Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1966 - 1983
    Extent: 14.00 linear feet (14 records cartons)
    Abstract: The WESTMORELAND/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. The collection is arranged in numerical order in one series: JOINT EXHIBITS.
    Repository: University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Collection number: MSS 0155
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    Westmoreland Versus CBS Collection, MSS 0155. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Historical Background

    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.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The WESTMORELAND/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.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Adams, Sam, 1933-1988
    Crile, George
    Westmoreland, William C. -- (William Childs), 1914- -- Trials, litigation, etc
    CBS Inc. -- Trials, litigation, etc
    Tet Offensive, 1968
    Trials (Libel) -- New York (State) -- New York
    Trials (Slander) -- New York (State) -- New York
    Documentary television programs -- United States
    Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975 -- United States -- Sources