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III. The Coup Against the Diem Government, October 23-November 2, 1963: Differing Interpretations of U.S. Policy Toward Coup Plotting, Efforts To Obtain Information on a Potential Coup, Lodge-Diem Discussions, U.S. Assessments of a Coup, The Coup, The Deaths of Nhu and Diem


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

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 S VIET Secret; Flash. The source text is the copy sent to the Department of State. Also repeated Flash to the Director of NSA and USIB agencies. There is no time of transmission from Saigon on the source text, but it was received in the Department of State at 3:23 a.m.


212. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Harriman) and Michael V. Forrestal of the National Security Council Staff

Source: Library of Congress, Harriman Papers, Telephone Conversations. Transcribed by Mildred Leatherman of Harriman's staff.


213. Telegram From the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Harkins) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Taylor)

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series, Defense Cables. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Repeated to CINCPAC exclusive for Felt. Received at the Pentagon at 3:27 p.m. Passed to the White House for Bundy; the Department of State for Rusk, Ball, Harriman, and Hilsman; and to the CIA for McCone and Colby


214. Telegram From the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Harkins) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Taylor)

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series, Defense Cables. Top Secret; Eyes Only; Exclusive. Repeated exclusive to Felt. Received at the Pentagon at 3:35 p.m. Sent for information to the White House for Bundy; to the Department of State for Rusk, Harriman, and Hilsman; and to the CIA for McCone and Colby.


216. Telegram From the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series, CIA Reports. Top Secret; Immediate. Sent from the CIA Station in Saigon to the Director of Central Intelligence as [document number not declassified]. Also printed in United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967, Book 12, pp. 590-591.


217. Telegram From the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge)

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series, CIA Reports. Also addressed to Harkins. Sent via CIA channels to Saigon. Also printed in United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967, Book 12, p. 592.


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

Source: Department of State, Central Files, PER-LODGE, HENRY CABOT. Top Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Kattenburg and Mendenhall, cleared with Rice and McGeorge Bundy (in draft), and approved by Ball. Repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD exclusive for Felt.


219. Letter From the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Harkins) to the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 84, Saigon Embassy Files: FRC 68 A 5159, SGN 963, 19 GVN. A copy was sent to CINCPAC.


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

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 S VIET. Secret. Received at 9:06 a.m. and passed to the White House, CIA, and Office of the Secretary of Defense.


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

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 8 S VIET-US. Secret; Priority. Also sent to Bangkok. Received at 12:48 p.m. and passed to the White House, CIA, and Office of the Secretary of Defense.


222. Memorandum for the Record by the Joint Chiefs of Staff's Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities (Krulak)

Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers. Secret.


223. Memorandum From the Director of the Vietnam Working Group (Kattenburg) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Hilsman)

Source: Department of State, Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 67 D 54, Pol 27-10 Rpts, 1963. Secret. Drafted by Montgomery and initialed by Kattenburg and Hilsman.


224. Telegram From the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge) to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 S VIET. Secret; Immediate; Eyes Only. The source text is CIA Station telegram 2003 from Saigon sent to the Department of State eyes only for Rusk, Harriman, Ball, Hilsman, and Hughes. Also sent to the Department of Defense eyes only for McNamara, Gilpatric, Taylor, Krulak, and William Bundy; to the White House eyes only for McGeorge Bundy; and repeated to Honolulu eyes only for Felt and to CIA eyes only for McCone, Carter, and Helms.


225. Telegram From the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge) to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 S VIET. Top Secret; Immediate; Eyes Only. The source text is CIA Station telegram 2023 from Saigon sent to the Department of State eyes only for Rusk, Harriman, Ball, Hilsman, and Hughes. Also sent to the Office of the Secretary of Defense eyes only for McNamara, Gilpatric, Taylor, Krulak, and William Bundy; to the White House eyes only for McGeorge Bundy; repeated to Honolulu eyes only for Felt and to CIA eyes only for McCone, Carter, and Helms. Received at the Department of State at 4:23 a.m.


226. Telegram From the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge) to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 S VIET Top Secret; Immediate; Eyes Only. The source text is CIA Station telegram [document number not declassified] from Saigon sent to the Department of State eyes only Rusk, Harriman, Ball, Hilsman, and Hughes. Also sent to the Department of Defense eyes only for McNamara, Gilpatric, Taylor, Krulak, and William Bundy; to the White House eyes only for McGeorge Bundy; repeated to Honolulu eyes only for Felt and to CIA eyes only for McCone, Carter, and Helms. Received at the Department of State at 7:59 a.m.


227. Telegram From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Taylor) to the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Harkins)

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series, Top Secret Cables, October 1963 (B). Top Secret; Eyes Only. The telegram is a compilation of documents prepared for the White House; there is no time of transmission on the source text.


228. Telegram From the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge) to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 S VIET. Top Secret; Immediate; Eyes Only. The source text is CIA Station telegram [document number not declassified] from Saigon sent to the Department of State eyes only for Rusk, Harriman, Ball, Hilsman, and Hughes. Also sent to the Department of Defense eyes only for McNamara, Gilpatric, Taylor, Krulak, and William Bundy; to the White House eyes only for McGeorge Bundy; repeated to Honolulu eyes only for Felt and to CIA eyes only for McCone, Carter, and Helms. Received at the Department of State at 8:11 a.m.


229. Telegram From the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge) to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 S VIET Top Secret; Immediate; Eyes Only. The source text is CIA Station telegram 2041 from Saigon sent to the Department of State eyes only for Rusk, Harriman, Ball, Hilsman, and Hughes. Also sent to the Department of Defense eyes only for McNamara, Gilpatric, Taylor, Krulak, and William Bundy; to the White House eyes only for McGeorge Bundy; and repeated to Honolulu eyes only for Felt and to CIA eyes only for McCone, Carter, and Helms. Received at the Department of State at 9:25 a.m.


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

Source: Kennedy Library, Hilsman Papers, Countries Series-Vietnam, 10/1/ 63-10/10/63 and undated. Top Secret. No drafting information is given on the source text. The paper was apparently prepared in anticipation of the meeting on the coup at 4 p m.; see Document 234. There are notes on the source text apparently in Hilsman's handwriting indicating that Harriman, U. Alexis Johnson, Ball, Sullivan, and Hilsman met at 2:20 and 3:20, perhaps to refine these talking points.


231. Briefing Paper

Source: Kennedy Library, Hilsman Papers, Countries Series-Vietnam, 10/1/63-10/31/63 and undated. Top Secret. No drafting information is given on the source text, but initials on an earlier draft indicate it was prepared for Rusk, Harriman, U. Alexis Johnson, and Mendenhall. (Ibid.)


232. Briefing Paper Prepared in the White House

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Meetings on Vietnam. On a draft of this paper, McGeorge Bundy wrote the following note: “Should we cool off the whole enterprise[?]” (Ibid., Vietnam, Memos and Miscellaneous)


233. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to the President

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, McGeorge Bundy Files, Memos for the President.


234. Memorandum of Conference With President Kennedy

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. Another record of this conference, drafted by Mendenhall, is ibid., Hilsman Papers, Countries Series-Vietnam, White House Meetings, State Memcons. In To Move a Nation, Hilsman gives a detailed description of this meeting, pp. 518-519.


235. Memorandum of a Conference With President Kennedy

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.


236. Telegram From the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge)

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 S VIET. Top Secret. The source text is CIA telegram [document number not declassified] sent to the Department of State eyes only for Rusk, Harriman, Ball, Hilsman, and Hughes. Also sent to the Office of the Secretary of Defense eyes only for McNamara, Gilpatric, Taylor, Krulak, and William Bundy; to the White House eyes only for McGeorge Bundy; and repeated to Honolulu eyes only for Felt. Also printed in Pentagon Papers: Gravel Edition, vol. 11, pp. 782-783.


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

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 S VIET. Secret. The source text is CIA telegram [document number not declassified] sent to the Department of State eyes only for Rusk, Harriman, Ball, Hilsman, and Hughes. Also sent to the Office of the Secretary of Defense eyes only for McNamara, Gilpatric, Taylor, Krulak, and William Bundy; to the White House eyes only for McGeorge Bundy; and to Honolulu eyes only for Felt. Received at the Department of State at 11:34 p.m.


238. Telegram From the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge) to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 15 S VIET. Top Secret; Immediate. The source text is CIA Station telegram 2060 from Saigon sent to the Department of State eyes only for Rusk, Harriman, Ball, Hilsman, and Hughes. Also sent to the Office of the Secretary of Defense eyes only for McNamara, Gilpatric, Taylor, Krulak, and William Bundy and to the White House eyes only for McGeorge Bundy. Repeated to Honolulu eyes only for Felt and to CIA eyes only for McCone, Carter, and Helms. Received at the Department of State at 12:15 a.m.