271. Editorial Note

The President’s Intelligence Checklist, August 23, seen by the President, contains the following item entitled “South Vietnam”:

  • “a. Tight security precautions are still being enforced in Saigon and Hue, but troop presence is less obtrusive.
  • “b. Nhu told a US source yesterday that the generals recommended the imposition of martial law. He denied this amounted to a coup, but warned it could become one if Diem vacillated or compromised on the Buddhist issue.
  • “c. Ambassador Lodge notes that the resignation of Foreign Minister Mau ‘obviously caught the government flatfooted’.” (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Chester V. Clifton Series)