[The Pentagon Papers: The Secret History of the Vietnam War, The Complete and Unabridged Series as Published by The New York Times, taught me that sometimes the truth is hidden in plain sight. In this case, all I had to do was open a book, and some of the truth spilled out. Bolded text is my emphasis.]


[Gen. Maxwell Taylor, U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam, 1964-1965]


According to the embassy’s cable to Washington, the conversation began like this:

Ambassador Taylor: Do all of you understand English (Vietnamese officers indicated they did…)

I told you all clearly at General Westmoreland’s dinner we Americans were tired of coups. Apparently I wasted my words. Maybe this is because something is wrong with my French because you evidently didn’t understand. I made it clear that all the military plans which I knew you would like to carry out are dependent on government stability. Now you have made a real mess. We cannot carry you forever if you do things like this.

Marshall Ky and other Vietnamese generals denied that they had staged a coup and said they were trying to achieve unity by getting rid of divisive elements, the account goes on.

The Ambassador tried to persuade them to support the civilian regime of Premier Huong and apparently to restore the High National Council. The Vietnamese officers would not agree.

The embassy cable describes the end of the conversation:

“In taking a friendly leave, Ambassador Taylor said: “You people have broken a lot of dishes and now we have to see how we can straighten out this mess.”