The Wars for Viet Nam

Phone Conversation Between Ngo Dinh Diem and Henry Cabot Lodge, November 1,1963

DlEM: Some Units have made a rebellion and I want to know, what is the attitude of the U.S.?

LODGE: I do not feel well enough informed to be able to tell you. I have heard the shootings but with all the facts. Also, it is 4:30A.M. in Washington and the U. S. Government cannot possibly have a view.

DIEM: But you must have some general ideas. After all, I am Chief of State. I have tried to do my duty. I want to do now what duty and good sense require. I believe in duty above all.

LODGE: You have certainly done your duty. As I told you only this morning, I admire your courage and your great contribution to your country. No one can take awav from you the credit for all you have done. Now I am worried about your physical safety. I have a report that those in charge of the current activity offer you and your brother safe conduct out of the country if you resign. Had you heard this?

DlEM: No. (pause) You have my phone number.

LODGE: Yes. If I can do anything for your physical safety, please call me.

DIEM: I am trying to re-establish order (hangs up).

SOURCE: Sheehan and others (eds.), The Pentagon Papers, p.232.