in February of 1962
, two pilots from the
attacked and bombed the
Duc Lap Palace
. At that
point, the officials of the United States Government did not know how
deep this dissension was. Therefore, I went and I talked to, upon
instructions, I talked to General Do Cao Tri
, General Don, Tran Van
Don, I talked to Nguyen
Khanh, I talked to quite a few of the senior officers in the
was not apparent that there was a plot or that there was anything really
serious, but there was a certain amount of dissatisfaction of the
commanders with the central government. Namely, they were dissatisfied
with the controls that were imposed on 'em by the central government.
they were afraid to report, for example, ah, if they had had a defeat,
they... th their kills, they were afraid of doing that because they were
afraid of of um, getting bawled out by the President. So, though this
was a certain amount of dissatisfaction, it wasn't until the 4th of July of 1963
, when all the generals
most of them were in Saigon
and they had been invited to the 4th of July party at the
received word that they were going to be at a nightclub, and the...
downstairs from the Caravelle Hotel and I was
asked to be present. Which I w—went and there they were, all of them,
and I... talked to specifically to General Don and I talked to other generals. And then...
This is the first indication that I had that there was really something
serious going on, that there was actually a, a coup so to speak, being
thought of by the senior offices of the Vietnamese Army.
uh, this was reported and uh, from then on, it was important that we
keep track. I'm talking about we, I'm talking about the United States
Government, keep track of all the different elements because there were
the generals' groups, the colonels' groups, the Buddhist groups.
The...well, there were too many groups. The thing was to find out which
one was a serious group. Serious in the sense that if they were going to
do something, that they would have the resources to do it with.