3. The President’s Intelligence Checklist1

1. South Vietnam

Though some easing of martial law was evident in Saigon yesterday, steps were being taken to tighten the security ring around the Presidential Palace, which houses Diem and the Nhus.
The Palace security guard, normally provided by an elite Army unit, is now, we hear, being drawn from units under Colonel Tung, the pro-regime commander of the Special Forces. In addition anti-aircraft guns have been emplaced in the Palace area.
Meantime, the shadow of Ngo Dinh Nhu looms ever larger. His picture has begun to show up in public buildings—one report says Diem’s is coming down—and a million posters of Nhu, resplendent in his Youth Corps uniform, have been made up for nationwide distribution.
Some Army leaders fear that Nhu plans a further power grab.
Military operations against the Viet Cong continue, but martial law commitments led to the suspension of a large-scale operation in central Vietnam and the number of small-scale government actions has declined.

[Here follow items unrelated to Vietnam.]

  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Chester V. Clifton Series. Top Secret; Eyes Only for the President. A note on the source text by Clifton indicates that the President read the checklist.