3. The President’s Intelligence Checklist1
Washington, August 28, 1963.
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.]
- 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.↩