Oh, look, we didn't know, we knew a lot about coup plotting or at least we got a lot of intelligence about coup plotting. Ninety-nine percent of the coup that were plotted never happened and so that most of us were terribly skeptical of it.
This particular coup we certainly knew that some of these generals were plotting. We did not know one was scheduled for November 1, as my story about Admiral Felt and Ambassador Lodge will illustrate.
Ah. Most of us really didn't believe it would happen. Ah. People would talk about ah ah ah trying, you know, trying to, to, to encourage a coup is like pushing a piece of cooked spaghetti, but I have no doubt in my mind that things that we did encouraged a coup.
President Kennedy on Walter Cronkite's program in full view of the whole world saying there must be changes in policy and personnel is bound to encourage a coup. We all knew that. You, there's nothing that you can do that disapproves of Ngo Dinh Diem that doesn't encourage a coup. So, there, of course, we, of course, this, this encourages a coup.
As it turned out, interestingly enough, something happened. I later learned, years later in talking to the Vietnamese generals and, and politicians, I learned that something happened that we had no realization of at all. Probably had more to do to encourage a coup than anything else. And, that was Ambassador Lodge and ah John Richardson, the CIA Chief, had a falling out.
Apparently, it had nothing to with ah anything, you know. It was unrelated to these matters and, ah, Lodge called for, rrrr, asked for Richardson's recall, but Richardson was close to Nhu and apparently the generals interpreted this as a signal but we never intended it so.
So, you know, eh, yes, almost anything you do is going to be interpreted and picked over in these countries ah either favorably or unfavorably. So, I would say, but, but, you know in a very real sense the ultimate responsibility for the coup lay with President Ngo Dinh Diem, because he did things that we told him over and over and over again that if he did them, we would have to publicly disapprove of them, and that this would encourage a coup and he said, I know.
Now, he went ahead and did them, and we had to publicly disapprove of the. There was no choice. American people is not going to stand still for, for, and let you be silent when one of your allies kills Buddhist nuns and priests. We had to condemn in publicly. And, that encouraged coups. It's as simple as that.