Cablegram from John Richardson, the Central Intelligence Agency's Saigon station chief, to John A. McCone, Director of Central Intelligence, on Contact with Saigon Generals, Aug. 26, 1963


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 2, pp. 735-736


Reprinted from New York Times

C.I.A. Aide's Cable to Chief on Contact with Saigon Generals

Cablegram from John Richardson, the Central Intelligence Agency's Saigon station chief, to John A. McCone, Director of Central Intelligence, Aug. 26, 1963.

During meeting with Harkins, Truehart, Mecklin and COS on morning 26 Aug Lodge made decision that American official hand should not show. Consequently, Harkins will take no initiative with VNese generals. (Conein to convey points below to Gen. Khiem; Spera to Khanh; if Khiem agrees on Conein talking to Don, he will).

(A) Solicitation of further elaboration of action aspects of present thinking and planning. What should be done?
(B) We in agreement Nhus must go.
(C) Question of retaining Diem or not up to them.
(D) Bonzes and other arrestees must be released immediately and five-point agreement of 16 June fully carried out.
(E) We will provide direct support during any interim period of breakdown central gov mechanism.
(F) We cannot be of any help during initial action of assuming power of state. Entirely their own action, win or lose. Don't expect be bailed out.
(G) If Nhus do not go and if Buddhists situation is not redressed as indicated, we would find it impossible continue military and economic support.
(H) It hoped bloodshed can be avoided or reduced to absolute minimum.
(I) It hoped that during process and after, developments conducted in such manner as to retain and increase the necessary relations between VNese and Americans which will allow for progress of country and successful prosecution of the war.


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