215. Editorial Note

According to CIA telegram [document number not declassified] from Saigon, October 25, 1963, Conein and Don met on the night of October 24. Don stated that he could not now hand over to Lodge the coup committee’s plans for political organization as he had promised earlier. The coup committee opposed such a move for reasons of security, but, Don continued, the committee would be willing to show Lodge all their plans, both military and political, 2 days before the coup was to take place. Conein reminded Don that the U.S. Government could make no commitment to the coup leaders until it had studied their plans in detail. Don answered that the coup was planned for no later than November 2 and again promised at least 2 days’ notice. Don assured Conein that the new Vietnamese government would be civilian, would free non-Communist political prisoners, would allow honest elections, and would permit complete religious freedom. The new government, Don added, would be pro-Western, but would not be a vassal of the United States. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series, CIA Reports)