DNI Coats directs intelligence agencies to review Tet Offensive-related documents for declassification, release

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive—which took place on January 30, 1968—Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats directed intelligence agencies to review their holdings to reveal previously classified details to the public.

In December 2016, former DNI James Clapper instructed the Intelligence Community Senior Historians Panel to identify topics of historical interest for declassification and release, as a part of the IC’s continuing efforts to enhance public understanding of IC activities.

For the first release of this initiative, the panel recommended documents relating to the Tet Offensive be reviewed for declassification and release in commemoration of the Vietnam War.

The Tet Offensive

The Tet Offensive was a series of surprise attacks launched by the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong on January 30,1968 throughout South Vietnam that targeted multiple prominent sites, including the Presidential Palace and the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.

While the attacks initially took the U.S. and South Vietnamese forces by surprise, they eventually recovered to repel the Viet Cong.  The dramatic nature of the Tet Offensive began to turn U.S. public opinion against the war and precipitated the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam.

Review & Declassification

Based on the recommendation of the Historians Panel, DNI Coats has directed that IC elements review their record holdings to identify classified records pertaining to the Tet Offensive and review them for declassification and release.

The declassified documents will be released over a period of 15 months, in three installments, beginning in July 2018. Subsequent releases will take place in January 2019 and April 2019.

How to Learn More

Intelligence.gov will serve as the hub for information on the progress of the Tet Offensive document declassification throughout the process and will provide access to materials sourced from across the IC upon their release. Efforts to declassify historical information of current relevance are rooted in the 2015 transparency implementation plan that led to semi-annual meetings of the IC Historian Panel.

Source: ODNI