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The Third Man

In response to:

Sons of the Morning from the January 25, 1973 issue

To the Editors:

In her review of David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest [NYR, January 25], Mary McCarthy notes that one of the few newly heard anecdotes in the book is one concerning Nixon on a visit to Vietnam in 1967. She mentions that Halberstam gives no source for this anecdote, going on to wonder, “Did Lansdale tell, and is Halberstam protecting him, or was a third person present whose identity has to be concealed?”

That third person is Daniel Ellsberg, who has mentioned this story in Papers on the War, in numerous speeches, and, if I am not mistaken, in a film about the Pentagon Papers, That the People Should Know. Mr. Ellsberg is not concealing his identity, whatever D. Halberstam may be about.

Paul Blanc

Eugene, Oregon