#TetDeclassified Series
Tet Declassified

The Tet Declassified Series is a new transparency effort to share historical information of current relevance.

Watch: IC Historians Talk Tet

Video Source Information

As part of the Tet Offensive document declassification effort, Intel.gov recently sat down with three Intelligence Community historians—all members of the IC Senior Historians’ Panel—to discuss the Tet Offensive, the IC’s role in the Vietnam War, and the impact of the Tet Offensive on both U.S. public support for the war and on the IC itself.

The Tet Offensive has often been called an intelligence failure, but this discussion reveals that there’s more nuance and complexity to the story than that statement allows. Declassified documents, to be released in three tranches in 2018-19, will shed further light on the IC’s role in this critical conflict.

This video is part of a longer discussion around Vietnam and Tet, which will be released in its entirety in the coming weeks.

Meet the Historians

David Hatch - Senior Historian, NSA

Dr. David Hatch spent 15 years at NSA as an analyst and first-line supervisor. He joined NSA’s Center for Cryptologic History in 1990, just a couple of months after it was established, and has been there ever since. His professional interests include World War II and the Korean War. 

“When I first got into history of the Intelligence Community and NSA’s history back in the ‘90s, it was a fresh field. Nobody had done anything but a few preliminary studies that were incomplete, based on virtually no declassified documents. Then all of a sudden, the field exploded. It was a very exciting time to be an historian. I’ve been at it for a quarter century and that excitement has not dimmed in that time at all.”

David Foy - Chairman, IC Senior Historians’ Panel/CIA History Staff

Dr. David Foy has spent 33 years in the Intelligence Community, as an active-duty and reserve U.S. Army member, Army civilian, defense contractor, and DIA and NGA civilian. He is currently on a joint duty assignment with CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence, where he serves as the IC Historian and chair of the Community-wide Senior Historians Panel.

“I got started reading military history at the ripe old age of 10 and have always been fascinated by it. […] Frequently, the articles that I do for the Intelligence Community blog that we publish will come from simply finding a reference to a name I don’t know or an event that sounds intriguing. That will lead me down a path of research and writing that I hope illuminates a piece of history that might otherwise never have been seen.”

Clayton Laurie - CIA History Staff

Dr. Clayton D. Laurie has been a historian with the U.S. Army, the CIA’s History Staff at the Center for the Study of Intelligence, where he currently works, NRO, and ODNI. In addition to government service, Dr. Laurie taught undergraduate military and intelligence history courses for 24 years, specializing in the History of Intelligence, the two world wars, and the War in Vietnam. He is the author of over forty articles and books on military and intelligence history from the 19th century to the present.

“You get to see a lot of things here, working in the IC, because of the classified nature of the documents that you never otherwise would have access to. It changes your perspective on an awful lot, because you’re seeing a whole different side of things than you’re reading in books, than you’re hearing on the news. So it provides a greater understanding of what’s going on. The truth is far, far more exciting than fiction.”

Interested in Hearing More?

Listen to the complete audio from the panelist discussion: