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II. Period of Interlude, September 7-October 22, 1963: Assessment of the Progress of the War, U.S. Efforts To Reform the Diem Government, The McNamara-Taylor Mission to Vietnam and Report, U.S. Policy on Coup Plotting in Vietnam


73. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 1 S VIET-US. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Kattenburg, cleared with Sarris in draft, and approved by Hilsman. Repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD.


74. Telegram From the White House to the President, at Squaw Island, Massachussets

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series, Memos and Miscellaneous. Secret; Priority; Eyes Only. Sent from the White House Situation Room to the President for delivery on the morning of September 8. The President did not clear the cable to Lodge; a note on the source text reads, “not sent to Saigon.”


75. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, SOC 14-1 S VIET. Secret; Immediate. Received at 5:54 a.m. Repeated to CINCPAC. Passed to the White House.


76. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 15 S VIET. Secret; Immediate. Received at 6:41 a.m. Repeated to CINCPAC. Passed to the White House at 7:15 a.m.


77. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, SOC 14-1 S VIET. Secret; Immediate. Received at 2:38 p.m. Repeated to CINCPAC. Passed to the White House and CIA at 4:30 p.m.


78. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of the State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 2 S VIET. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Received at 2:49 p.m. Repeated to CINCPAC.


79. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series, Memos and Miscellaneous. Secret.


80. Telegram From the Central Intelligence Agency Station in Saigon to the Agency

Source: Department of State, Har-Van Files, South Vietnam Policy File, August 31 through September 15, 1963. Secret. There is no time of transmission on the source text.


81. Memorandum From the Counselor for Public Affairs of the Embassy in Vietnam (Mecklin) to the Director of the United States Information Agency (Murrow)

Source. Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series, Memos and Miscellaneous. Secret. Murrow sent this memorandum to McGeorge Bundy under a cover.: g memorandum, September 10. According to his account in Mission in Torment, pp. 206-207, Mecklin received instructions on September 7 to return to Washington with Mendenhall and Krulak with no real idea of what was expected of him. He wrote this memorandum on the plane. In Usito 66 to Saigon for Mecklin only, September 6, Murrow gave Mecklin the following guidelines:

“We particularly interested in changes if any in attitudes toward Diem Govt, Nhu and wife, and will to push war against Viet Cong to successful conclusion. In addition other contacts, you may wish draw on knowledgeable USIS local employees, particularly those attached to VN Information Service, in preparing assessment.” (Washington National Records Center, RG 306, USIA/TOP Files: FRC 67 A 222, IAF-1963)


82. Report by the Joint Chiefs of Staff's Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities (Krulak)

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Meetings on Vietnam. Top Secret.


83. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Kennedy Library, Hilsman Papers, Countries Series-Vietnam, White House Meetings, State Memcons. Top Secret; Eyes Only. The meeting was held at the White House. Drafted by Hilsman. Bromley Smith's record of this meeting, published in part in Declassified Documents, 1982, 650A, is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda, Meetings on Vietnam. Krulak's record of this meeting is in National Defense University, Taylor Papers, Trip to Vietnam, September 7-10.


84. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Hilsman) and Senator Frank Church

Source: Kennedy Library, Hilsman Papers, Memoranda of Conversations. Drafted by Hilsman.


85. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Meetings on Vietnam. Top Secret. Drafted by Smith. The meeting was held in the Department of State. Also published in part in Declassified Documents, 1982, 650B. A memorandum for the record of this meeting by Krulak is in the National Defense University, Taylor Papers, Trip to Vietnam, September 7-10.


86. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET. Top Secret; Immediate. Received at 3:16 a.m. and passed to the White House and CIA at 4:48 a.m.


87. Memorandum for the Record of Discussion at the Daily White House Staff Meeting

Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers, T-646-71. Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted by Major William Y Smith, Taylor's aide.


88. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between the Secretary of State and the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Source: Department of State, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Conversations. Transcribed by Phyllis D. Bernau.


89. Paper Prepared by the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Hilsman)

Source: Kennedy Library, Hilsman Papers, Countries, Vietnam, Undated. There is no drafting information on the source text, but this is apparently the first paper Bundy asked Hilsman to prepare; see Document 85.


90. Paper Prepared by the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Hilsman)

Source: Kennedy Library, Hilsman Papers, Countries, Vietnam, Undated. Secret. There is no drafting information on the source text, but this is apparently the second paper Bundy asked Hilsman to prepare; see Document 85.


91. Memorandum Prepared by Michael V. Forrestal of the National Security Council Staff

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series, Memos and Miscellaneous, Part 1. Secret. There is no drafting information on the source text, but this is apparently the paper Bundy asked Forrestal to prepare; see Document 85.


92. Research Memorandum From the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Hughes) to the Secretary of State

Source: Department of State, Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 67 D 54, Pol 15 Gov't. Secret; No Foreign Dissem; Limit Distribution.


93. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Meetings on Vietnam. Top Secret. Drafted by Smith. The meeting was held at the White House. The source text indicates the President did not attend the meeting. A memorandum for the record of this meeting by Krulak is in the National Defense University, Taylor Papers, Trip to Vietnam, September 7-10.


94. Memorandum of Conference With the President

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Meetings on Vietnam. Top Secret. Drafted by Smith. The meeting was held in the White House.


95. Memorandum From the Director of the United States Information Agency (Murrow) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Hilsman)

Source: Department of State, Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 67 D 54, PR-11, Press Relations. Confidential.


96. Telegram From the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Harkins) to the Joint Chiefs of Staff's Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities (Krulak)

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series, Defense Cables. Secret; Eyes Only. Repeated to CINCPAC exclusive for Felt. Krulak sent copies to General Wheeler, General LeMay, Admiral MacDonald, and General Shoup, and to Bundy at the White House; McCone at the CIA; and Rusk, Ball, Harriman, and Hilsman at the Department of State.


97. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 1 S VIET. Top Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Hilsman and cleared by Rusk and Bromley Smith. Repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD exclusive to Felt.


98. Draft Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Meetings on Vietnam. Secret. Drafted by Rusk. In a telephone call to Hilsman, at 8:23 p.m., September 11, Rusk discussed the drafting of this telegram:

“Sec said he would go home tonight and draft a fairly long discursive message to Lodge to give his own views on paper but H might go ahead on the letter idea. Sec would think that is the means by which we try to get this fellow on board there through persuasion without at this stage a lot of other things that go along with it. Sec replied it would be a presidential letter. H will be sending Lodge cable tonight and will call Sec tonight on WH phone.” (Department of State, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Conversations)

Regarding the Presidential letter, see Document 115. The cable Hilsman mentioned is presumably telegram 391, Document 97. There is no record of another telephone conversation between Hilsman and Rusk on the night of September 11. The cable printed here was not sent; see Infra.


99. Memorandum for the Record of a Meeting

Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers, T-186-69. Top Secret; Sensitive. Drafted by Krulak. The meeting was held at the White House.


101. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 S VIET Top Secret; Priority. The text of this message was sent from the White House.


102. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 1 S VIET-US. Top Secret. There is no time of transmission on the source text. Received at 7:02 a.m. Repeated to CINCPAC. Passed to the White House at 7:30 a.m.