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Paul Rigby

'Arrogant' CIA Disobeys Orders in Viet Nam by Richard Starnes, Washington Daily News, October 2, 1963

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David J. Whittaker. Fighter for Peace: Philip Noel-Baker, 1889-1982 (York, England: William Sessions Ltd., 1989), pp.312-315:

Noel-Baker “circled the globe in 1962, visiting Canada, the USA, Moscow and…Peking, Hong Kong, and Tokyo…By the summer of 1965…a letter to The Times…lamented the way in which the American President seemed influenced by military advisers and the CIA*…”

*Philip Noel-Baker, “Letter to the Editor: An Authority Diminished – President Johnson’s Policies,” The Times, Monday, 19 July 1965, p.11. The CIA used a favoured creature of the period, Peter Bessell, to reply in The Times to Noel-Baker. Bessell’s letter appeared on 21 July 1965.

Here is the letter from PNB in question:

Philip Noel-Baker, “Letter to the Editor: An Authority Diminished – President Johnson’s Policies,” The Times, Monday, 19 July 1965, p.11:

Sir, - In President Johnson’s first major speech after he entered the White House he said to the United Nations General Assembly –

“We are more then ever committed to the rule of law – in our land and around the world. We believe more than ever in the rights of man, all men of every colour – in our land and around the world. And more than ever we support the United Nations…”

In 16 months in office President Johnson fulfilled the first part of his programme. By March 1965, he had secured the legislation needed to wipe out poverty and illiteracy in the United States.

He had subdued those who sought to destroy his policy by lawless violence; he had brought their arbitrary personal behaviour under the rule of United States law. He crowned his victory with an address to Congress on March 17 which will rank among the greatest speeches ever made.

On April 7 he made an oration at Johns Hopkins University of equal nobility. He offered unconditional discussions on Vietnam, and he said: -

“We dream of a world where disputes are settled by law and reason…The guns and the bombs, the rockets and warships, are all symbols of human failure.”

On April 8 it seemed that these ambitions might be fulfilled. The President had almost achieved a world “consensus” for a policy of peace, disarmament and reconciliation. No man’s prestige had ever stood so high. Hanoi gave, if not a positive, at least a negotiable, answer to his invitation to unconditional talks. For four whole days Peking hesitated to say “No.”

Three months later, this world “consensus” had been destroyed. The President’s authority is much diminished. To many people his pledge to the United Nations sounds hypocritical and false.

This is a disaster for the President and for the whole world. What happened?

It has happened because he took advice that peace could be obtained by the ruthless use of military power. This advice has proved completely wrong.*

1. The bombing which began on February 7 was intended to stop Hanoi’s help to the guerrillas and to weaken the Vietcong. But in June Mr. McNamara told us that since February 7 the Vietcong strength had increased by 35 per cent and that Hanoi’s help had correspondingly increased.

2. The United States White Paper of February 18 was intended to prove that the conflict in Vietnam was not a civil war, but Charter-breaking aggression by the “sovereign state” of North Vietnam against its “sovereign” neighbour, South Vietnam. No one in the West accepted the argument of this naïve document; its own figures showed that 80 per cent of the Vietcong were South Vietnamese; while its contention about “sovereignty” was in flagrant contradiction of the Geneva pledges (including United States pledges) of 1954. It only served to convince Hanoi that the United States desired the permanent partition of Vietnam on ideological grounds, as Stalin partitioned Germany in 1945.

3. The speech of April 7 was swiftly followed by the United States occupation of San Domingo. This must have seemed to the Vietcong, Hanoi and Peking to prove that President Johnson’s pledges about the rule of law were insincere.

4. Not less important than these events have been the views expressed, in public and in private, by men who are known to be the President’s principal advisers in foreign affairs. A careful reading of the messages you receive from your Washington Correspondent leaves the impression that these advisers believe only in the efficacy of military power, and not at all in the efficacy of the principles and institutions of the United Nations.

President Johnson is Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military forces in history. He still has immense potential political prestige. He has unrivalled political and parliamentary skill. He can become, not only the greatest President of the United States, but the greatest statesman in history, if he uses his authority to bring the world to peaceful co-existence, to disarm its national forces, and to demilitarize the thinking of its governments.

He has the best opportunity which there has ever been to do these things. But he can only do them if, in his foreign policy, he ceases to act on the principles of power-politics and the advice of the Central Intelligence Agency, and if, instead, he acts on the principles which have brought him such unparalleled success in home affairs.

Yours, &c.,

Philip Noel-Baker,

House of Commons, July 16.

Hard to imagine a letter of comparable literacy or courage emanating from a parliamentary drone of “New Labour.” Or Mockingbird Murdoch’s tabloid Times publishing it.

*Eerily familiar. Iraq, Afghanistan anyone?

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Philip Noel-Baker, “Letter to the Editor: An Authority Diminished – President Johnson’s Policies,” The Times, Monday, 19 July 1965, p.11:

The United States White Paper of February 18 was intended to prove that the conflict in Vietnam was not a civil war, but Charter-breaking aggression by the “sovereign state” of North Vietnam against its “sovereign” neighbour, South Vietnam. No one in the West accepted the argument of this naïve document; its own figures showed that 80 per cent of the Vietcong were South Vietnamese; while its contention about “sovereignty” was in flagrant contradiction of the Geneva pledges (including United States pledges) of 1954. It only served to convince Hanoi that the United States desired the permanent partition of Vietnam on ideological grounds, as Stalin partitioned Germany in 1945.

Richard Starnes’s first extended analysis of the State Dept White Paper referred to by Noel-Baker in his Times letter:

Washington Daily News, 12 March 1965, p.31

A Flimsy Paper

As it has done in every war it has ever fought, the United States is busily constructing a superstructure of legality and rectitude around its true aims and motives in South Viet Nam.

The State Department’s White Paper on Viet Nam is a key element in this attempt. Its distortions and omissions suggest that the verdict of history will be to reject it as crude propaganda.

The White Paper, entitled “Aggression from the North,” purports to prove that the war in South Viet Nam is not a civil war but instead is a product of “flagrant aggression” by North Viet Nam and, by implication, Communist China. It is a curiously plaintive document; worthless as history, unconvincing as evidence, questionable in its basic morality.

As shaky as was the previous American stance (“we are in South Viet Nam at the invitation of a legally ordained government”), it was far more tenable than the White Paper’s attempt to justify the approaching full-scale war in Southeast Asia. The State Department fails to prove what it sets out to prove, and in failing it reveals a great deal.

Reliable estimates of the total number of Viet Cong guerillas operating in South Viet Nam do not exist. The anonymous authors of the State Department’s White Paper content themselves with the so-called “hard core” Viet Cong cadres “trained in the North.” After a virtuoso display of numbermanship, the authors conclude that:

“…Since 1959, nearly 20, 000 VC officers, soldiers and technicians are known to have entered South Viet Nam under orders from Hanoi. Additional information indicates that an estimated 17,000 more infiltrators were dispatched to the South by the regime in Hanoi during the past six years. It can reasonably be assumed that still other infiltration groups have entered the South for which there is no evidence yet available.”

There are a number of remarkable things about this specimen extract from the White Paper. It suggests there is proof that 20, 000 VC have trickled in from the North; “additional information” that 17, 000 more did likewise; and the apparently baseless assumption that there must be more for which there is no evidence or information can be found. The State Department, moreover, missed the irony that is to be had by re-constructing the paragraph as follows:

“Since 1956, nearly 30, 000 U.S. officers, soldiers and technicians are known to have entered South Viet Nam under orders from Washington. Additional information indicates that an unknown number of CIA infiltrators were dispatched during the same period.”

The patriotic response here, of course, is to assert that we are there as the bidden guests of a legal government, and the VC are not. But the blunt reality is that the South Vietnamese Liberation Front (the Viet Cong) has at least as much popular support and legitimacy as the revolving door Saigon governments installed by the United States.

The VC runs schools in the portions of South Viet Nam under its control, it lays taxes, runs social services of sorts, and obviously enjoys a measure of broadly based support that is not available to Saigon. It is not enough to say that this support is based on terror, for if terror maintained governments, Mme. Nhu and her talking puppets of fragrant memory would still be in power.

Apart from these considerations, the White Paper falls short of proving massive North Vietnamese intervention. It cites 25 case histories of what it supposes to be typical VC infiltrators, but of these 16 are South Vietnamese in origin, and in any event 25 is thin evidence on which to base 19,550 “confirmed” infiltrators and some 17,000-plus “estimated” in addition.

As to weapons supplied by communist sources outside Viet Nam, the White Paper again is long on conclusions but woefully short on evidence. In its tables can be counted fewer than two dozen crew-served weapons captured up to Jan. 29, 1964. The truth is that the bulk of VC weapons, both crew-served and light, are obtained by capture from Army of South Viet Nam units armed by the U. S. It is generally conceded that 80 per cent of VC weapons are form this source.

Finally, the White Paper cites a report of the International Control Commission which condemned Hanoi for meddling in South Viet Nam. Unfortunately for the credibility of the White Paper, however, it did not cite a section of the same report which criticized the U.S and South Viet Nam for violating the 1954 Geneva Accord.

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He has the best opportunity which there has ever been to do these things. But he can only do them if, in his foreign policy, he ceases to act on the principles of power-politics and the advice of the Central Intelligence Agency, and if, instead, he acts on the principles which have brought him such unparalleled success in home affairs.

Yours, &c.,

Philip Noel-Baker,

House of Commons, July 16.

Noel-Baker's view on who - or rather, what - was running US foreign policy in 1965 was hardly unique. Here's a similar point of view from the same year:

Ronald Segal, “FBI, KKK, CIA,” New Statesman, 3 September 1965, p.324:

Review of 3 books:

1) Fred Cook. The FBI Nobody Knows (Cape, 30s);

2) William Randel. The Ku Klux Klan (Hamish Hamilton, 30s);

3) Wise & Ross. The Invisible Government (Cape, 30s)

Writing of Wise & Ross’ book, Segal observes: “America, indeed, is dangerously near conducting international relations through a secret police all but completely independent of elected authority.”

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"Today's World Report: Truce Moves Reported In Viet Nam," New York World-Telegram & Sun, (Friday), 25 October 1963, p.6: "LONDON - The government of South Vietnam and Communist North Viet Nam are apparently making exploratory contacts that could lead to a truce, diplomatic sources said. There was no official confirmation…Diplomatic sources said the current moves were believed to be aiming at some sort of truce arrangement with possible wider ramifications."

Paul, thanks for digging this out!

My friend Kim told me it was an article of faith in her family that

Kennedy ordered the overthrow of Diem in order to prevent

reconciliation talks between Diem and Ho.

They were right about everything but the perp: WA Harriman.

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"Today's World Report: Truce Moves Reported In Viet Nam," New York World-Telegram & Sun, (Friday), 25 October 1963, p.6: "LONDON - The government of South Vietnam and Communist North Viet Nam are apparently making exploratory contacts that could lead to a truce, diplomatic sources said. There was no official confirmation…Diplomatic sources said the current moves were believed to be aiming at some sort of truce arrangement with possible wider ramifications."

Paul, thanks for digging this out!

My friend Kim told me it was an article of faith in her family that

Kennedy ordered the overthrow of Diem in order to prevent

reconciliation talks between Diem and Ho.

They were right about everything but the perp: WA Harriman.

Unconvinced, Cliff - you mean all those CIA guys masquerading as journos and cameramen at the storming of the Presidential palace were...Kennedy loyalists? I'm trying hard to convince myself, but, no, it just isn't working!

Hilaire Du Berrier. Background To Betrayal: The Tragedy Of Vietnam (Mass.: Western Islands, 1965), p. 254:

"[T]he storming of the palace was an affair that the young hot-heads of USIS and CIA should have stayed out of…European papers told of American "advisers" entering Gia Long Palace with the first wave of troops: young Americans in civilian clothes, wearing baseball caps and talking incessantly into walkie-talkies as they moved from one unit to another among the attacking forces. Correspondents wrote of American "photographers" whom they had never seen before and who did not use their cameras, accompanying each advancing wave."

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"Today's World Report: Truce Moves Reported In Viet Nam," New York World-Telegram & Sun, (Friday), 25 October 1963, p.6: "LONDON - The government of South Vietnam and Communist North Viet Nam are apparently making exploratory contacts that could lead to a truce, diplomatic sources said. There was no official confirmation…Diplomatic sources said the current moves were believed to be aiming at some sort of truce arrangement with possible wider ramifications."
Paul, thanks for digging this out!

My friend Kim told me it was an article of faith in her family that

Kennedy ordered the overthrow of Diem in order to prevent

reconciliation talks between Diem and Ho.

They were right about everything but the perp: WA Harriman.

Unconvinced, Cliff - you mean all those CIA guys masquerading as journos and cameramen at the storming of the Presidential palace were...Kennedy loyalists? I'm trying hard to convince myself, but, no, it just isn't working!

You think W. Averell Harriman was a Kennedy loyalist?

I don't.

I think Harriman's loyalties resided with the Harriman-Bush Crime Family.

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My friend Kim told me it was an article of faith in her family that

Kennedy ordered the overthrow of Diem in order to prevent

reconciliation talks between Diem and Ho.

And there's the view of Madame Nhu, as reported by one of the best journalists of the period. She was a source both well-placed and without obvious motivation to lie or guild the lily on the question of who destroyed her family:

George T. Altman, “Letters: JFK’s assassination and the war,” The Nation, 21 June 1975, p.738:

Reports urging re-examination of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy have begun to stir throughout the land. These are no longer isolated situations of dissatisfaction with findings that lack the appearance of reason. They show now careful study and determination. Moreover, they suggest connections that go far beyond the assassination of one President of the United States…

Suspecting the existence of such broad connections I wondered if they might include the so-called coup in Vietnam just three weeks before the assassination. Accordingly I went to Europe shortly after the assassination to make a probe of the coup. My particular purpose was to question Madame Nhu, widow of Ngo Dinh Nhu, one of the two leaders struck down in the coup. The other was his brother, Ngo Dinh Diem, the President of South Vietnam. Madame Nhu was active in the government there herself; after the coup she escaped to Rome.

I was able to arrange a meeting with her at the Vatican. I questioned her closely, through her son, on the events which preceded the coup, seeking especially to learn whether, in her opinion, Mr. Kennedy had supported it.

Madame Nhu informed me that, contrary to reports published here, the two brothers had sought to negotiate an end to the conflict, and that it was to prevent this that the coup was carried out. She declared emphatically that Mr. Kennedy had activated the brothers in this effort to achieve peace; he had no part in fomenting the coup.

In my opinion, the war, the coup and the Kennedy assassination are closely linked. Thus the necessity of covering up the assassination of a President with the insanely empty notion that no one but the reported assassin had any part in it. Thus also the long history of assassination of foreign leaders, for a single purpose, the maintenance of armed conflict – and always on the same side, the support of large industry and wealth.

And if a coup in Vietnam, why not another in this country, for the same purpose? Our government has shown itself equal to the task.

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My friend Kim told me it was an article of faith in her family that

Kennedy ordered the overthrow of Diem in order to prevent

reconciliation talks between Diem and Ho.

And there's the view of Madame Nhu, as reported by one of the best journalists of the period. She was a source both well-placed and without obvious motivation to lie or guild the lily on the question of who destroyed her family:

I think it's understandable that my friend Kim and her family were not

so well tuned to the nuances of American foreign policy that they could

draw a distinction between the agendas of JFK and W. Averell Harriman.

As a consequence of the overthrow of Diem, Kim's family was cast into

poverty. They were not allowed to "escape to Rome." The male members

of her family were blacklisted, denied any formal employment. Her father

ran cockfights to make ends meet, and Kim became an operator on the black

market. At the age of 13, she started selling toothpaste to GIs on the street,

eventually making a fortune in black market currency transactions before she

was out of her teens.

The important point to this is not who was responsible for the overthrow

of Diem, but why.

That Diem was overthrown because he was pursuing peace talks with Ho

is not something commonly acknowledged.

Edited by Cliff Varnell

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Paul: Great thread. Keep going. I thought you might be interested in hearing how Tim Weiner reports the Richardson V. Lodge. Keep in mind that this is how hundreds of thousands of Americans will have this history narrated, as his book is a best-seller right now.

He sees the Diem killing as all Kennedy, no Agency.

..... The secretary of state, the dec of defense, and the director of central intelligence had not been consulted.

All three were dubious about a coup against Diem. 'I should not have given my consent to it,' the president told

himself after the consequences becamem clear. Yet the order went forward. Hilsman told Helms that the president

had ordered Diem ousted. Helms handed the assignment to Bill Colby, the new chief of the CIA's Far East division.

COlby passed it on to John Richardson....'In circumstance believe CIA must fully accept directive of policy

makers and seek ways to accomplish objectives they seek' he instructed Richardson--though the order 'appears

to be throwing away bird in hand before we have adequately identified birds in bush, or songs they may sing'

Then Weiner goes on to portray Lodge as primarily jealous of Richardson's house:

The ambassador resented the agency's exalted status in Saigon. He wrote in his private journal: bigger houses than

diplomats; bigger slaries; more weapons; more modern equipment' He was jealous of the powers held by Richardson

and he scoffed at the caution the station cheif displayed about Conein's central role in the coup plotting Lodge

decided he wanted a new station chief..... So he burned Richardson--"exposed him, and gave his name publicly to the

newspapers,' as Boby Kennedy said in a classified oral history eight months later--by feading a coldly calculated leak to

a journeyman reporter passing through Saigon. The story was a hot scoop. Identifying Richardson by name-- an un-

precedented breach of security-- it said he had 'frustrated a plan of action Mr. Lodge brought with him from Washington

because the Agency disagreed with it.... One high official here. a man who has devoted most of his life in the service of

democracy, likened the CIA's growth to a malignancy, and added he was not sure evern the White House could control it.'

The NYT and Washington Post picked up the story. Richardson his career ruined left Saigon four days later; after a decent

interval, Ambassador Lodge moved into his house (pp. 216-217)

Was this "jouneyman reporter" Starnes? What do you think of Weiner's narration which leaves the impression that the CIA in general was against the removal of Diem, but went along, because they were following the orders of Kennedy?

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Paul: Great thread. Keep going. I thought you might be interested in hearing how Tim Weiner reports the Richardson V. Lodge. Keep in mind that this is how hundreds of thousands of Americans will have this history narrated, as his book is a best-seller right now.

He sees the Diem killing as all Kennedy, no Agency.

..... The secretary of state, the dec of defense, and the director of central intelligence had not been consulted.

All three were dubious about a coup against Diem. 'I should not have given my consent to it,' the president told

himself after the consequences becamem clear. Yet the order went forward.

Here's JFK describing the dynamics behind the coup in a tape

he recorded on 11/4/63, 3 days after Diem's demise.

(quote on)

President Kennedy: Opposed to the coup was General [Maxwell] Taylor, the

Attorney General [Robert Kennedy], Secretary [Robert] McNamara to a somewhat

lesser degree, John McCone, partly based on an old hostility to [Henry Cabot] Lodge

[Jr.] which causes him to lack confidence in Lodge's judgement, partly as a result

of a new hostility because Lodge shifted his [CIA] station chief; in favor of the

coup was State, led by Averell Harriman, George Ball, Roger Hilsman, supported

by Mike Forrestal at the White House.

(quote off)

Doesn't this seem strangely passive of JFK? It's as if he was just keeping

score instead of calling the plays.

Hilsman told Helms that the president

had ordered Diem ousted. Helms handed the assignment to Bill Colby, the new chief of the CIA's Far East division.

COlby passed it on to John Richardson....'In circumstance believe CIA must fully accept directive of policy

makers and seek ways to accomplish objectives they seek' he instructed Richardson--though the order 'appears

to be throwing away bird in hand before we have adequately identified birds in bush, or songs they may sing'

Then Weiner goes on to portray Lodge as primarily jealous of Richardson's house:

The ambassador resented the agency's exalted status in Saigon. He wrote in his private journal: bigger houses than

diplomats; bigger slaries; more weapons; more modern equipment' He was jealous of the powers held by Richardson

and he scoffed at the caution the station cheif displayed about Conein's central role in the coup plotting Lodge

decided he wanted a new station chief..... So he burned Richardson--"exposed him, and gave his name publicly to the

newspapers,' as Boby Kennedy said in a classified oral history eight months later--by feading a coldly calculated leak to

a journeyman reporter passing through Saigon. The story was a hot scoop. Identifying Richardson by name-- an un-

precedented breach of security-- it said he had 'frustrated a plan of action Mr. Lodge brought with him from Washington

because the Agency disagreed with it.... One high official here. a man who has devoted most of his life in the service of

democracy, likened the CIA's growth to a malignancy, and added he was not sure evern the White House could control it.'

The NYT and Washington Post picked up the story. Richardson his career ruined left Saigon four days later; after a decent

interval, Ambassador Lodge moved into his house (pp. 216-217)

Was this "jouneyman reporter" Starnes? What do you think of Weiner's narration which leaves the impression that the CIA in general was against the removal of Diem, but went along, because they were following the orders of Kennedy?

Edited by Cliff Varnell

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Context?

The full tape transcript?

Is it enough there to make an objective judgement?

It strikes me as a brief summary statement for the record as of that time, and as such, necessarily with the tone it has. Note that Kennedy merely uses titles and short ID's. That seems to indicate it is part of a developing situation rather something conclusive for public consumption. Rather a record, or a speculative summary based on what he knew at that time. A 'work in progress'.

______________

-1 "Then Weiner goes on to portray Lodge as primarily jealous of Richardson's house:" - does he?

-2 "The ambassador resented the agency's exalted status in Saigon." - did he?

"He wrote in his private journal:" -statement of truth

"bigger houses than diplomats; bigger salaries; more weapons; more modern equipment" - ditto

Two totally judgemental statements about a simple summary of a situation which observess that the agency was being better supplied, and perhaps in a more priviledged position.

Funding for the various departments came from different sources. The diplomatic mission had an established situation. This seems simply a record of observations of changes happening.

Program Pale Horse was in action and Op. Phoenix coming up. Pale Horse included the elimination of US personnell as well as the Vietcong, or rather those fingered rather indiscriminately as such.

The Vietnamese situation was extremely volatile during that period, and becoming more so with things changing rapidly, continuously.

Naturally one would expect a multitude of observations.

Overall it reads as a subjective piece of writing (apart from the stements of fact), that through its judice indicates an agenda. Merely something to 'argue' about. Not something from which to make any conclusions such as are made.

IOW essentially as worthless or useful as any persons personal comments depending on that particular persons general attitudes.

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. was Nixons running mate in 1960, his brother John Lodge was considered as Nixons Vatican representative, and HCL Jr. was appointed by President Nixon to serve as special envoy to the Vatican 1970-1977, and HCL Jr was the chief negotitor at the 1969 Paris peace talks. He also sought to maintain Eisenhowers approach to Civil Rights in an effort seemingly aimed at dealaying or hindering any divergent progress such as Kennedy was committed to.

Perhaps there is a story in Lodge's service in the mediterranean theatre of war in 1944 where he rose to Lt. Col.?

He was known as a member of the isolationist camp before the war.

He featured on Time front cover in 1964 and in late 1951, in a long article, noteworthy for not mentioning his opponent Kennedy even once.

The odd thing seems to be that Kennedy appointed Lodge to ambassadorship in Vietnam in August, 1963. Kennedy had defeated Lodge as Senator in 1952 and in the elections of 1960. What led him to appoint Lodge in late 1963? Admittedly he had been supportive of the UN and also some suggest that his apparent support for an african american in a Nixon Cabinet led to Nixons defeat in the South, while at the same time, without missing a beat it is suggested that Kennedys success was partly from his proven support for Civil Rights, as indicated by many events, not least of which as a Senator coming to MLK's support when MLK was jailed.

They sure brew a heady mix in the ole' spin factory.

He was Ambassador to Republic of Vietnam 1963-1964; again appointed Ambassador to Vietnam 1965-1967; United States Ambassador at Large 1967-1968; Ambassador to Germany 1968-1969 and there appointed by President Richard Nixon to serve as head of the American delegation to the Vietnam peace negotiations in Paris.

Why did Kennedy appoint him as Ambassador in late 1963? What led to his appointment?

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Context?

The full tape transcript?

Is it enough there to make an objective judgement?

It strikes me as a brief summary statement for the record as of that time, and as such, necessarily with the tone it has. Note that Kennedy merely uses titles and short ID's. That seems to indicate it is part of a developing situation rather something conclusive for public consumption. Rather a record, or a speculative summary based on what he knew at that time. A 'work in progress'.

______________

-1 "Then Weiner goes on to portray Lodge as primarily jealous of Richardson's house:" - does he?

-2 "The ambassador resented the agency's exalted status in Saigon." - did he?

"He wrote in his private journal:" -statement of truth

"bigger houses than diplomats; bigger salaries; more weapons; more modern equipment" - ditto

Two totally judgemental statements about a simple summary of a situation which observess that the agency was being better supplied, and perhaps in a more priviledged position.

Funding for the various departments came from different sources. The diplomatic mission had an established situation. This seems simply a record of observations of changes happening.

Program Pale Horse was in action and Op. Phoenix coming up. Pale Horse included the elimination of US personnell as well as the Vietcong, or rather those fingered rather indiscriminately as such.

The Vietnamese situation was extremely volatile during that period, and becoming more so with things changing rapidly, continuously.

Naturally one would expect a multitude of observations.

Overall it reads as a subjective piece of writing (apart from the stements of fact), that through its judice indicates an agenda. Merely something to 'argue' about. Not something from which to make any conclusions such as are made.

IOW essentially as worthless or useful as any persons personal comments depending on that particular persons general attitudes.

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. was Nixons running mate in 1960, his brother John Lodge was considered as Nixons Vatican representative, and HCL Jr. was appointed by President Nixon to serve as special envoy to the Vatican 1970-1977, and HCL Jr was the chief negotitor at the 1969 Paris peace talks.

He also sought to maintain Eisenhowers approach to Civil Rights in an effort seemingly aimed at dealaying or hindering any divergent progress such as Kennedy was committed to.

Perhaps there is a story in Lodge's service in the mediterranean theatre of war in 1944 where he rose to Lt. Col.?

He was known as a member of the isolationist camp before the war.

He featured on Time front cover in 1964 and in late 1951, in a long article, noteworthy for not mentioning his opponent Kennedy even once.

The odd thing seems to be that Kennedy appointed Lodge to ambassadorship in Vietnam in August, 1963.

Kennedy had defeated Lodge as Senator in 1952 and in the elections of 1960. What led him to appoint Lodge in late 1963? Admittedly he had been supportive of the UN and also some suggest that his apparent support for an african-american in a Nixon Cabinet led to Nixons defeat in the South, while at the same time, without missing a beat, it is suggested that Kennedy's success was partly from his proven support for Civil Rights, as indicated by many events, not least of which as a Senator coming to MLK's support when MLK was jailed.

They sure brew a heady mix in the ole' spin factory.

He was Ambassador to Republic of Vietnam 1963-1964; again appointed Ambassador to Vietnam 1965-1967; United States Ambassador at Large 1967-1968; Ambassador to Germany 1968-1969 and there appointed by President Richard Nixon to serve as head of the American delegation to the Vietnam peace negotiations in Paris.

Why did Kennedy appoint him as Ambassador in late 1963? What led to his appointment? Who else was proposed? Who proposed Lodge?

Possibly at this time the Viet situation was spinning out of control and Kennedy was vulnerable to bad input?

Edited by John Dolva

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As a consequence of the overthrow of Diem, Kim's family was cast into

poverty. They were not allowed to "escape to Rome." The male members

of her family were blacklisted, denied any formal employment. Her father

ran cockfights to make ends meet, and Kim became an operator on the black

market. At the age of 13, she started selling toothpaste to GIs on the street,

eventually making a fortune in black market currency transactions before she

was out of her teens.

Awful to hear, and my best wishes to her and her family.

The important point to this is not who was responsible for the overthrow

of Diem, but why.

I disagree with the first half; couldn't agree more that "why" is hugely important.

That Diem was overthrown because he was pursuing peace talks with Ho

is not something commonly acknowledged.

Agreed. Let's do our - inadequate, I know - level best to change that.

Paul

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Paul: Great thread. Keep going. I thought you might be interested in hearing how Tim Weiner reports the Richardson V. Lodge. Keep in mind that this is how hundreds of thousands of Americans will have this history narrated, as his book is a best-seller right now.

He sees the Diem killing as all Kennedy, no Agency.

..... The secretary of state, the dec of defense, and the director of central intelligence had not been consulted.

All three were dubious about a coup against Diem. 'I should not have given my consent to it,' the president told

himself after the consequences becamem clear. Yet the order went forward. Hilsman told Helms that the president

had ordered Diem ousted. Helms handed the assignment to Bill Colby, the new chief of the CIA's Far East division.

COlby passed it on to John Richardson....'In circumstance believe CIA must fully accept directive of policy

makers and seek ways to accomplish objectives they seek' he instructed Richardson--though the order 'appears

to be throwing away bird in hand before we have adequately identified birds in bush, or songs they may sing'

Then Weiner goes on to portray Lodge as primarily jealous of Richardson's house:

The ambassador resented the agency's exalted status in Saigon. He wrote in his private journal: bigger houses than

diplomats; bigger slaries; more weapons; more modern equipment' He was jealous of the powers held by Richardson

and he scoffed at the caution the station cheif displayed about Conein's central role in the coup plotting Lodge

decided he wanted a new station chief..... So he burned Richardson--"exposed him, and gave his name publicly to the

newspapers,' as Boby Kennedy said in a classified oral history eight months later--by feading a coldly calculated leak to

a journeyman reporter passing through Saigon. The story was a hot scoop. Identifying Richardson by name-- an un-

precedented breach of security-- it said he had 'frustrated a plan of action Mr. Lodge brought with him from Washington

because the Agency disagreed with it.... One high official here. a man who has devoted most of his life in the service of

democracy, likened the CIA's growth to a malignancy, and added he was not sure evern the White House could control it.'

The NYT and Washington Post picked up the story. Richardson his career ruined left Saigon four days later; after a decent

interval, Ambassador Lodge moved into his house (pp. 216-217)

Was this "jouneyman reporter" Starnes? What do you think of Weiner's narration which leaves the impression that the CIA in general was against the removal of Diem, but went along, because they were following the orders of Kennedy?

Nat,

I am interested in Wiener's portrayal: Fascinating to see just about every trick in the book thrown into this CIA-serving tripe. And, yes, I'm sure a) that this pabulum will influence far more people than anything I can offer by way of contrast; and B) that it is Dick Starnes being dismissed as a "journeyman reporter." Still, let's flip the argument on its head. What chance that in forty years time an Englishman previously unknown to Wiener will spend time and effort defending his journalism? Not a hope in hell!

Your final question reminds me of something I think Charles Drago wrote, though in which thread I can't for the life of me remember. He characterised JFK's assassination as "a world-historical event," or something similarly Hegelian. He was right. The Agency understood this from the get-go, and prepared accordingly. The heirs of Dulles and Angleton continue to work from the same basic script. Weiner is manifestly in their service.

Paul

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Why did Kennedy appoint him as Ambassador in late 1963?

John,

First stab at an answer.

Lodge appears to have shared JFK's conviction that no military solution, only a political one, was available or desirable in Vietnam. In his characteristically "diplomatic" memoir, The Storm Has Many Eyes (NY: WW Norton, 1973), Lodge wrote:

“I thought from the beginning that an exclusively military solution to the Vietnam problem was impossible. To make a long story short…I eventually reached the conclusion that we should withdraw our troops from Vietnam as fast as this could be done in an orderly way and try to negotiate a settlement” (p.206).

Second, and relatedly, Lodge, like JFK, was a committed multilateralist: he left the Atlantic Institute, recall, to take the poison chalice that was the Saigon ambassadorship.

Third, Kennedy's most pressing problem was the US press: Lodge was essentially being asked to reprise, only under much less favourable circumstances, the role of presidential shield he had undertaken for Eisenhower at the time of Khrushchev's visit. In both instances, Lodge was tasked with deflecting charges of insufficient presidential anti-communist zeal - the chief charge of Halberstam et al was, after all, that Diem wasn't prosecuting the war with anything like enough enthusiasm - while simultaneously not offending the the distinguished guest/host.

Fourthly, Lodge, like Diem, spoke French.

Sorry this is rushed, but tired and work beckons!

Paul

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