310. Telegram From Michael V. Forrestal of the National Security Council Staff to the Deputy Director, Far Eastern Division, Directorate of Plans, Central Intelligence Agency (Colby), at Saigon1

It now appears at least possible that Mme. Nhu will undertake an intense political campaign in US against both USG and new GVN. It may thus become necessary to make clear the exact quality of her own performance and that of her husband and his brothers and to show both evidence of and reasons for her and their intense unpopularity among Vietnamese people. You should stimulate fullest analysis and reporting on this topic. We are interested in hard facts, and not simply in broad conclusions, however intensely supported by country team.

  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series, Memos and Miscellaneous. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Sent via CIA channels. On November 2, at McCone’s suggestion, the President approved sending Colby to Saigon to assess the situation there. Colby, in Honorable Men, pp. 217-220, recalls his impressions and highlights of the mission, which began on November 3 and ended on November 19.