I don't give a damn where it is. It's not my doing. The charges have been made that I undertook or gave orders to or saw some things done in the way of sabotage up in North Vietnam at this time when there was a tremendous refugee movement going on. All I'd like to say about that is that this took place at a time of tremendous demoralization among the people in North Vietnam when they were having their whole lives torn asunder for them, that a number of these people wanted to hit back at an enemy in any way that they could, that an unrecorded bit of the history of the times is that a communist who were leaving South Vietnam at this same moment were performing bits of militant struggle, as they called it, in terms of murders and kidnapping, of hiding arms and ammunition in great supplies back in the South so that there was an under the surface very vicious struggle going on in all of this
period, and that the people up in the north that wanted to hit back wanted to reciprocate in kind and have it be restrained from committing murders, if you will, and violent actions and have this turned over into less, ah, less militant types of action but still were satisfactory.
Now one of the things that was done, the transportation was hurt up in the north. The people, the communist side was going to take over all the transportation. Now one of the needs that they would have would be to get out into the highways and byways outside the urban areas and interdict the movement of refugees. Which took place. Anything that would hamper their ability to do this to my mind was morally okay.
And I did give a go ahead to undertake that thing. But they weren't against individuals, they weren't against people. They were really a very small facet of many other things that were happening and I feel myself that they were a very mild undertakings. The major problems were much more serious than that, demanded most of my attention and took place down in South Vietnam.
Because down in South Vietnam at this very same moment, the administrative structure had turned into a vacuum in the South. The central government, the provincial government and the district government had been run by the French. The French were pulling out. The Vietnamese were trying to take over and many of them were untrained in the thing, in being executives and administering a government.
The communications in the South were very bad and there had to be a tremendous emergency effort made to train and place civil servants into places throughout the country. To get them into areas where they were physically unsafe and try to protect them. And do so in a space of time that had immediate needs, enough to be successfully done inside of six months or so.
Now you don't train people and place them in places and get something running that fast, so it was a real emergency situation. And people up in the north would ask for help and make quick visits up there and to see how things were going along, and as they were clamoring for something, all I could do would be to suggest they do the least violent thing when they had violence in their minds and hearts.