55. Memorandum for the Record/1/
Washington, October 5, 1964.
/1/Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files: Job 80-B01285A, DCI Mtgs with the Pres, May-Oct 1964. Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted by McCone on October 7.
Discussion with the President, Secretary Rusk, Secretary McNamara and Mr. McGeorge Bundy--Monday, 5 October--4:45 p.m.
[Here follows discussion of unrelated matters.]
3. The Takhli-Lop Nor flights were discussed. I presented KH-4 photography and stated that U-2 photography would give us more precise information on the final stages of construction at Lop Nor from which we might estimate the probable time of a nuclear detonation. I said that unless information concerning the time of a detonation was of significant importance to the President and Secretary Rusk, I could not recommend the flight, pointing out it was a deep penetration extending the U-2 to the full limit of its range during which time no other important targets would be traversed. Secretary Rusk opposes the flight on the grounds the information is not of significant importance to him and the flight carried us over Burma and India which was undesirable./2/
/2/CIA telegram ADIC 5332 to Taipei, October 8, stated that the primary reason for cancelling the Lop Nor mission was the risk of an incident in the month preceding the presidential election. In addition, information obtained from a satellite and a September 29 statement by Rusk that a Chinese nuclear explosion might be imminent had both tended to diminish the importance of the mission. (Ibid., Job 80-B01676R, DDCI Trip to the Far East, 17-31 October 1964)
4. I then said that the units were deployed [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] and suggested we fly some southern China missions covering critical targets. This was agreed.
Action: Mr. Bundy asked that we present flight plans and other information through the usual Special Group (303) channel, which I agreed to do promptly.