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Of, By, and For the People: Lansdale’s Strategic Failure in Vietnam

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Early photo of Lansdale. Source unknown

Major General Edward Geary Lansdale is one of the most influential US military figures to emerge from the Cold War, but his is an ambiguous legend1, with the sites of his most notable “victories”: the Philippines and Vietnam continuously embroiled in violent political conflicts for decades after his illustrious departure. How could seemingly successful operations that impressed the CIA, State Department, and White House foster such long-term instability? The answer lies in Lansdale’s slapdash, undemocratic tactics and their often unforeseen consequences.

Ed Lansdale, 1963 [US Air Force Photograph]

Ed Lansdale, 1963 [US Air Force Photograph]

As an advertising man in San Francisco just before WWII, Lansdale had briefly worked for the OSS before joining the Air Force and serving in the Philippines2. With this dual background, advertising and war, Lansdale in a way stood at the nexus of a Military-Industrial Complex that had slowly been taking shape since WWI3. Detailed to the CIA in 19504, he was sent to the Philippines to help put down the growing Huk insurgency that threatened President Quirino’s corrupt rule. Using his signature mix of carrot and stick (social justice/terrorism and propaganda) he decimated the Huks. In just three years his protege Ramon Magsaysay was the new President of the Philippines, and the Dulles brothers were sending Lansdale to Vietnam  hoping he might perform another miracle5, but Lansdale was to be perpetually frustrated in Vietnam.

After one hundred painful years of French domination and in the power vacuum left by the Axis powers’s defeat in WWII, nationalist icon Ho Chi Minh had declared Vietnam’s independence in 1945. Immediately the internationally unrecognized former colony (colonies, including Laos and Cambodia) was engulfed in a French reconquest with tacit American support6.

In 1941, Ho, a former communist agent who’d helped found both the French and Indochinese Communist Parties (ICP)7, along with the other ICP leaders:

“temporarily…set aside their antagonism toward such traditional class enemies as capitalists and landlords in order to realize a broad alliance of all social classes and political groups. They were to make a common front not only with the Socialists and their leaders, but also nonsocialists and even right-wing groups…”8

Then in late 1945 Ho dissolved the ICP to form an even broader coalition of nationalists, beginning a process of alienation from the more die-hard members of the ICP (later the Vietnam Worker’s Party)9. That act would eventually result in his gradual marginalization and exclusion from key decision making positions in the Party.

Spurned by both Truman10 and Stalin11, Ho’s Viet Minh rebels fought a brutal guerilla stalemate for three years. In 1950 Mao Tse Tung’s newly independent China recognized Ho’s government, allowing the Viet Minh a zone of sanctuary across their northern border, and began a program of foreign assistance. Stalin quickly followed suit in order to maintain the USSR’s relevance in Southeast Asia12. As France poured troops into Indochina, America responded to Mao’s support of the Viet Minh with a massive aid program for its important European ally, and the bloodshed greatly intensified. Thousands died. In 1952 America convinced France to “hold the line” despite their avowed reluctance.13 Finally, two years later, during negotiations between the great powers interested in the conflict at Geneva, Switzerland, the Viet Minh delivered the killing blow and crushed the French in a humiliating defeat at the lonesome valley base of Dien Bien Phu. The commander of the garrison artillery killed himself before the triumphant Vietnamese overran the position.14

A Viet Minh soldier waves the flag of Vietnam atop a French Command post at Dien Bien Phu [AFP-JIJI]

A Viet Minh soldier waves the flag of Vietnam atop a French Command post at Dien Bien Phu [AFP-JIJI]

America, which chose not to sign the accords at Geneva that provided for a reunified Vietnamese independence after two years of regroupment and organization, remained unwilling to renege on the billion dollar bet they’d made on an anti-communist Vietnam. Enter Lansdale, sent to “undertake paramilitary operations against the enemy and to wage political-psychological warfare,” as his official report put it15, or as he summed it up later, the Secretary of State had told him to go do what he did in the Philippines.16

Lansdale’s first tour in the embryonic state of South Vietnam has been seen, not least by Lansdale himself, as the most successful period of US intervention in the country. More importantly it exerted, along with his Anti-Huk campaign in the Philippines, a lasting influence on future US counterinsurgency doctrine.17 Paradoxically however, at several important junctures during Lansdale’s tenure—the refugee movement, the sect crisis, the 1955 referendum, and the ultimate abdication of the 1956 reunification election—Lansdale’s on-the-ground, tactical success engendered long-term strategic failure. Of these the sect crisis is the most illustrative because Lansdale played a determinative role in it, and the questions raised were fundamentally political.

Despite the drumbeat of pro-democratic reform of that Lansdale advances in his memoir, In the Midst of Wars, CIA officer Thomas Ahern’s recently declassified internal Agency history of the Diệm era, CIA and the House of Ngô, repeatedly reveals Lansdale’s fast and loose style, one that short-sightedly prioritizes the short-term.18 Ultimately Ahern still concludes that Lansdale’s “crucial contributions” helped America’s preferred Vietnamese leader Ngô Đình Diệm make “substantial progress in establishing his authority.”

Diệm in Newsweek Magazine, June 1955

Diệm in Newsweek Magazine, June 1955

Indeed therein lies the paradox. Lansdale and Diệm certainly had “eliminated the immediate threats to [Diệm’s] survival.” But  Diệm’s foreign-sponsored authority could never survive his complete dismissal of “the consent of the governed as a fundamental goal.”19 The backlash to their expedient brush-off of democracy remained unacknowledged until Diệm and his brother were deposed and assassinated—with US support—by other figureheads in 1963 who quickly proved to be equally undemocratic. In the end Lansdale’s miraculous early patronage had, by shielding Diệm and the House of Ngô from all criticism and change, signed the brothers’ death warrant and set the stage for American defeat in Vietnam.

Lansdale & the Brothers Dulles

Lansdale doesn’t explore it in his memoir, but his was a most unconventional assignment. His CIA connections have been known since the Pentagon Papers were leaked in 197120, but it is actually less straightforward than that. Ahern reveals that Lansdale was not only detailed to the CIA, he also operated out of his own covert CIA station with an entirely separate chain of command that ran directly to DCI Allen Dulles21, patrician brother of fire-breathing Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, whom Lansdale credited with his assignment in his memoir and subsequent interviews.

John Foster Dulles (right) shakes hands with his brother Allen Welsh Dulles at La Guardia Field, New York City, 1948 [Associated Press]

John Foster Dulles (right) shakes hands with his brother Allen Welsh Dulles at La Guardia Field, New York City, 1948 [Associated Press]

This unorthodox arrangement is important because it gave Lansdale the flexibility to bypass official Embassy channels in his communications with Washington. Such an arrangement was hardly unprecedented in CIA relations with foreign powers. For instance, in his memoir Sub Rosa, long-term CIA officer Peer de Silva notes that:

Whether in Europe or in Asia, the local chieftains in government, the military establishments, the trade-union hierarchy, and the so-called intellectuals, in dealing with me, clearly felt they were in touch with the really direct and significant route to the American decision makers in Washington…22

But while this “feeling” was usually subject to at least some moderate oversight by those “who were directly responsible for the execution of American political and diplomatic policy in the country concerned,”23 in Vietnam it was the Wild West. Even Paul Harwood24 was unafraid of sidestepping the CIA’s charter and setting policy.25 Nevertheless in this admittedly helter-skelter milieu, Ahern claims that, “the key element…was Lansdale’s standing with the Dulles Brothers, which gave him more influence over policymakers in Washington than he exercised over the Vietnamese Government in Saigon.”26 At several moments in Diệm’s early reign, Lansdale’s Washington influence proved decisive in shielding the new Prime Minister from compromise and reform, giving his unbridled repressiveness time to

“dry the grass,” as Mao had put it, intensifying peasant alienation from the government while it built for Diệm the image of a reactionary mandarin dependent on foreign support for the survival of his nepotistic government27

A Very Viable Thing: Lansdale vs the Sects

…In [Washington], semantics at that time seemed to be amiss… ”Government,” for example, connoted a somewhat mature organization of administrators who had been on the job for years…as in the Americas or Europe. To apply this picture to what then existed in South Vietnam, where a small group of bureaucrats clustered in Saigon and issued orders mostly to one another in tragic ignorance of what was happening beyond the suburbs, could only lead to faulty judgments. Vietnamese society was still in the feudal Middle Ages. The Communists had found one way of breaking out. The nationalists would have to find another or else succumb.28

When Ed Lansdale landed at Tan Son Nhut airport in the spring of 1954, just a month after the devastating battle of Dien Bien Phu, the War already being negotiated in Geneva was still smoldering in the countryside. Military trucks rolled through the streets of Saigon while the Hoa Hao and Cao Dai religious sects, offshoots of Buddhism and Catholicism respectively, led private militias, armed and paid by the French, in skirmishes with the Viet Minh outside of town.29 In Cholon, the Chinese suburb of Saigon, gangsters of the Binh Xuyen syndicate ruled a powerful narcotics trade and prostitution racket.30 Their “river-pirate hideouts” dotted the banks of the Saigon river as it wound its way to the South China Sea.31

While the ultimate consequences of his “success” in the Philippines could be questioned in their own right, the applicability of his experience there to Vietnam at all seems dubious. The Huk communists, Lansdale observed, were attempting to overthrow a “government that had elected officials…[While] the officials in South Vietnam were either foreign or were appointed Vietnamese…”32 This made Lansdale’s mission “almost impossible.”33 Indeed Ahern, in comparing CIA operations in South Vietnam to earlier interventions in Central America and the Middle East, notes that:

Vietnam was different…the United States was undertaking not only to establish a leader but to create a country,34

It was a monumental task, as Lansdale ostensibly recognized, requiring coalition-building and compromise, as well as a knack for public relations and civil administration.

…in countries we were aiding, I hoped that we wouldn’t forget the political basis of such conflicts and mistakenly place our main reliance on military, police, and economic actions…35

Despite this high minded rhetoric however, time and again Lansdale relies, often unilaterally, on those self-same “military, police, and economic actions.” It shows in his dealings with the sect Armies.

One of his first tasks in Vietnam had been liasoning with a variety of sect army leaders.36 By March of 1955 he had helped integrate some of them into the Vietnamese National Army (VNA), although not always with the noble simplicity he recounts in his memoir. In it the question of bribery comes up again and again. Repeatedly37 Lansdale goes out of his way to insist that he’s not “Santa Claus” and “had no money or weapons for [Hoa Hao General Lam Thanh Nguyen] or anyone else,” going so far as to mock such accusations at an official inquiry.38 Ahern’s more objective account reveals that the reality was considerably less black-and-white, however.

The heartwarming rallying of Cao Dai terrorist Trình Minh Thế is a good example of Lansdale’s devious style. In his memoir the recruitment is based upon a “personal letter from [Diệm] to Thế.” Lansdale travels to the rebel leader’s Black Virgin Mountain base, has a sit down with the freedom fighter, practically passing a peace-pipe as they parlay mano-a-mano (through an interpreter) and come to an understanding.39 All of this is described without even a passing mention of the cash money that Thế had demanded and Lansdale had provided. Here is arch-Lansdale, the advertising man, the trickster40, with the customary contrast between rhetoric and reality so familiar to both Madison Avenue and the Pentagon. His bribe, made in American dollars no less, proved extremely embarrassing for Diệm when it was eventually revealed, and as is often the case with a successful Lansdale operation, had unintended consequences. It further eroded Diệm’s all-important nationalist credentials.41

Screen shot 2016-04-10 at 10.20.43 AM

The full extent of Lansdale’s bribery can never be known. Earlier Paul Harwood42 had served as an intermediary, and after the embarrassing public revelations about Thế’s bribe, Diệm apparently returned to relying on Harwood for all “cash inducements.”43 While the funding of the sect armies was a legitimate CIA concern because the French had discontinued their payments at the start of 1955,44 unless US financial support for the armies was to be open-ended, it was by definition a short-term solution. Eventually the money-tap would have to be turned off, and the troops of the sect armies would once again become restless. A more permanent solution would have to be implemented.

As Lansdale continued attempting to incorporate the sect armies, their leaders pressed for greater inclusion in Diệm’s cabinet. Shortly after recruiting Trình Minh Thế, in late 1954, “Diệm’s Cabinet was composed entirely of Ngô family loyalists, and the French…persuaded Secretary of State Dulles that it should be broadened to include representatives of the still-uncommitted sects.”45 As usual, Diệm was intransigent, but after a grueling night of threatened US withdrawal he finally “grunted something which Nhu [Diệm’s infamous brother] interpreted for Harwood as meaning that he was giving in…” Harwood later observed that this was “the first and last time that anybody ever got Diệm to do something…that he didn’t want to do to start with.”46 On September 24, 1954 Diệm magnanimously allowed four Cao Dai and four Hoa Hao representatives into his cabinet. In his memoir Lansdale dismisses future sect demands for inclusion by referencing this reform.

“The talk about Diệm “broadening the base” of his government [later], by giving key posts to sect leaders, ignored the steps already taken in this direction…appointing eight members of the…sects to cabinet positions (out of a total of fourteen positions…)”47

Even Lansdale’s critics acknowledge his well-known image as a believer in Jeffersonian democracy. His prescribed “prime defense” against Communist insurgency is, after all, a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”48 The earlier passage, however, illuminates how flexible that phrase is for Lansdale. Reforming Diệm’s cabinet to be “of, by, and for” the people means: four Cao Dai, four Hoa Hao, and six “Ngô family loyalists,” as Ahern put it. So eight members of popular national constituencies, and six members of one family’s personal coterie.

Lansdale was, as David Halberstam said, “…the prototype of the Good American overseas as opposed to the Bad American.”49 He vociferously denounced the “…back rooms of Washington…full of articulate and persuasive practitioners of the expedient solution to daily problems, of the hoary art of power politics…” and even implies in his memoir at one point that he wanted to resign from his post in Vietnam because US policy was too repressive.50 But US policy did not write that spirited defense of Diệm’s “compromise” with the Hoa Hoa and Cao Dai of September 1954, General Lansdale did.

This compromise, allowing eight sect leaders into the cabinet, proved to be a short-term solution that wouldn’t last. In the months that followed, tensions between the sectarians and the government built. Ahern says that Lansdale suggested “various political and public relations maneuvers that Diệm might use to regain the public initiative against the sects,” but there’s no mention of specific positive actions taken. Meanwhile Harwood tried to deal with “sect demands for more money.”51

Finally someone lit a match. That someone was greedy Bay Vien, leader of the Binh Xuyen and, thanks to a generous payout to still-Emperor Bao Dai, the official head of Saigon’s police force.52 What came to be known as the Battle of Saigon began when Bay convened a summit in late March 1955 and brought the sect leaders together. What Ed Lansdale, Ngô Đình Diệm, and the CIA couldn’t accomplish with healthy wads of American cash, Bay Vien accomplished in one short meeting. Even Lansdale’s favorite terrorist General Thế had signed on to the USF’s declaration, again illustrating just how tenuous Lansdale’s victories in South Vietnam were.

When Diệm ignored the frustrated “United Sects Front”’s new ultimatum that he step down, the Binh Xuyen shelled Gia Long Palace, holding Diệm hostage overnight. They demanded he step down. He refused. Ambassador Collins and French Commander-in-Chief Paul Ely put a stop to the occasional shelling of the safely fortified palace and scattered street fighting throughout the city, establishing a fragile cease-fire enforced with French personnel.

Lansdale was incensed. Concerned only with the credibility of Diệm’s martial authority, and utterly dismissive of the political considerations, Lansdale says that he

“…felt that [Ambassador Collins] had a very misinformed view of what was going on, because he still believed the Vietnamese Army wouldn’t fight…in essence the truce would give the government of the country…a chance to maybe come up with a viable, workable peaceful solution or compromise with the other side when actually the Army and Diệm had a very viable thing going for them if we’d left them alone.53

That “very viable thing” was force, of course. “Lansdale at least had the Army to work with,” as Ahern earlier put it in a similar situation.54 This reliance on force became a recurring motif in the Vietnam War, one which almost always provided decisive short-term victories for the US by eliminating whoever currently threatened its place in South Vietnam, but simply destroying their most prominent enemies without addressing the underlying political frustrations ensured that some new faction would always come forward to press the issue. Ultimately the most successful would be the Viet Cong and their North Vietnamese patrons.

Ambassador Collins, frustrated at Diệm’s intransigence, finally recommended his removal on April 7. While Lansdale defended Diệm and pressed Headquarters to affirm his plan to “whip the Binh Xuyen,” Ambassador Collins futilely sought a political solution and was recalled to Washington to determine Diệm’s future.

Lansdale & the Battle of Saigon

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Thus began what Ahern calls “the most fateful episode in CIA’s relationship with the Diệm government,”55 and later describes as one of Lansdale’s “crucial contributions.”56 Lansdale “became the largest single influence on deliberations in Washington” as to Diệm’s status, and it is important to remember just what it is that he saves Diệm from: political reform. In his memoir he mentions that Diệm had, after Collins left for Washington, promised a new General Assembly, and a public poll in the form of a “simple questionnaire.” Unfortunately that’s the only time Diệm’s interest in public opinion is mentioned.57 The questionnaire is never brought up again, although even if they were sent out, it could hardly have made a difference. Like the “various political and public relations maneuvers” Lansdale had recommended earlier in the sect crisis, cosmetic reforms like these were insufficient in light of Diệm’s total “distaste for political coalition-building.”58 Despite Lansdale’s faith in Diệm’s good intentions, Collins, for his part, gave up on him because he thought “that Diệm would take only sycophantic yes-men into the Cabinet.” Nhu had already defined a broader cabinet as “the negation of the whole revolutionary ideal…” an 

“apocalyptic vision of the results of a non-Communist coalition [that] illustrates the perceptual gap, in…defining a legitimate authority for South Vietnam, that already separated the Ngô brothers from their American sponsors…”59

But of course it didn’t actually separate them from Lansdale who, unlike Ambassador Collins and much of the State Department, had been “taking Diệm at his word” on the nature of his administration60 since Diệm was made Prime Minister in June. In Washington Collins had convinced the State Department to have French officials begin looking for Diệm’s replacement, but “‘a flood of reports and recommendations’ from Lansdale”61 held them off while the wily old advertising man awaited what he called “the violent days so obviously coming.”62

Saigon 1955 (CIA Photos)

Saigon 1955 (CIA Photos)

Ahern assures us that Lansdale “said nothing to incite”63 the clash between the Binh Xuyen and VNA that broke out on April 28, but in fact, by taking Diệm’s side against Collins and stalling the State Department, he had manipulated events toward the conclusion that he had long thought best for establishing the regime’s authority. Over the next few days, as Lansdale had predicted, the VNA tidily drove the Binh Xuyen out of town. Because of Lansdale’s special relationship with DCI Allen Dulles64 (and the DCI’s special relationship with his brother, the Secretary of State) his reporting of these developments was authoritative. They decided that “this was the wrong moment to fulfill President Eisenhower’s commitment to Collins to look for a Diệm replacement.65

The Mediator Between the People and Heaven

While the Cao Dai Pope and several other sect leaders held out for another month, and there were sporadic clashes outside of Saigon in the years before the formation of the National Liberation Front,66 it was the showdown with the Binh Xuyen, and Bao Dai behind them, that saved Diệm’s early reign and represented the apex of CIA influence in South Vietnam.67 Diệm had firmly established his command of the army and the devotion of his new US allies, but it was at the cost of both his republican and nationalist credentials. Many had been prepared to accept Diệm when he first took office. As former Viet Minh Truong Nhu Tang put it

“Specifically I was looking for a government that would strive to reconcile the former pro-French Vietnamese (among whom were my own parents), the various groups of nationalists, and especially the former Vietminh fighters and sympathizers…”68

Unfortunately “reconciliation” was not one of Lansdale’s successes in the spring of 1955. Instead he used his special relationship to Allen Dulles, cash, and physical force to allow Diệm’s rigidity to go unchecked, and in the end “…the very obduracy and determination which won [Diệm] early tactical success seemed to… [have] invite[d] a Viet-Cong sect alliance against him.”69 In other words, while Diệm might refuse to compromise because, as he once wrote,

“a sacred respect is due to the person of the sovereign….He is the mediator between the people and Heaven as he celebrates the national cult,”

his enemies had no such compunction, and the fact “that some of the more startling early defeats of Diệm’s ARVN forces by Viet Cong in 1959 and 1960 occurred in the regions north of Saigon, where lurked Cao Dai and Binh Xuyen remnants, is more than coincidental.”70 To the contrary, as with so many of Lansdale’s intrigues, the result is typical. General Thế’s loyalty, the “broadening of the base” in September, and a nonstop stream of optimism had all led directly to a battle that included more than 100 dead civilians, an entire neighborhood of Saigon burned to the ground,71 and a new group of recruits for the communist forces slowly accumulating out in the swamps and jungles where the Saigon bureaucracy didn’t reach. This paradoxical dynamic is seen in many of Lansdale’s other successes in Vietnam, like the massive refugee flux from the North and the decision to abdicate the 1956 reunification election, but it was convincing the State Department to “sink or swim with Ngô Đình Diệm”72 that set America’s course directly for the iceberg.

Time Magazine: April 4, 1955

Time Magazine: April 4, 1955

  1. Instruments of Statecraft, McClintock p. 198
  2. In the Midst of Wars, Lansdale p. 4-5
  3. For Home and Country: World War I Propaganda on the Home Front, Kingsbury p. 264-265. Advertising and its legendary “father” Edward Bernays were important players in the selling of WWI to a war-skeptical American population…
  4. CIA and the House of Ngô, Ahern p. 15
  5. In the Midst of Wars, Lansdale p. 1-126
  6. The Vietnam Wars 1945-1975, Young p. 10-16
  7. Vietnam: A History, Karnow p. 690
  8. Vietnamese Communism, 1925-1945, Huỳnh p. 265 The Party’s compromise was flexible but real.
  9. Hanoi’s War, Nguyen p. 23
  10. Pentagon Papers, Bantam p. 4-5
  11. A Bright Shining Lie, Sheehan p. 149
  12. The Soviet Union and Communist China 1945-1950: The Arduous Road to the Alliance, Heinzig p. 306
  13. Embers of War, Logevall p. 318-319
  14. Vietnam: A History, Karnow p. 195
  15. Pentagon Papers, Bantam p. 53
  16. Interview of Lansdale by Stanley Karnow, 31 Jan 1979
  17. Instruments of Statecraft, McClintock p. 209
  18. CIA and the House of Ngô, Ahern p. 30 For example in the face of French obstinance in South Vietnam Lansdale, in late 1954 suggested, in a cable back to HQ, a military coup in Paris to “make a lady out of a slut.” No response from Dulles was found in the files.
  19. Ibid p. 109
  20. Saturday Review review of In the Midst of Wars, Mirsky, 01 Apr 1972
  21. CIA and the House of Ngô, Ahern p. 15
  22. Sub Rosa, de Silva p. 232
  23. Ibid p. 233 Upon making clandestine contact with Buddhist activist, CIA case officer reports it to the Embassy Political Section. The chain-of-command.
  24. CIA and the House of Ngô, Ahern p. 6-15 , Foreign Service officer Harwood, recently promoted to GS-12 and contracted to the CIA, was chief of the Saigon station’s covert action arm.
  25. Ibid, Ahern p. 25 Ahern goes so far as to lay ultimate responsibility for the US commitment to Diệm on Harwood, but notes “Whether Headquarters eventually sought State Department endorsement of [Harwood’s] program is not recorded; any departure from what became US policy after Diệm’s nomination was apparently minor enough to attract no attention.”
  26. Ibid p. 17
  27. Ibid p. 218
  28. In the Midst of Wars, Lansdale p. 203-204
  29. Interview of Lansdale by Stanley Karnow, 31 Jan 1979
  30. Vietnam: A History, Karnow p. 440
  31. In the Midst of Wars, Lansdale p. 301
  32. Interview of Lansdale by Stanley Karnow, 31 Jan 1979
  33. In the Midst of Wars, Lansdale p. 129
  34. CIA and the House of Ngô, Ahern p. 5
  35. In the Midst of Wars, Lansdale p. 374
  36. In the Midst of Wars, Lansdale p. 147
  37. Ibid p. 138, 195
  38. Ibid p. 221
  39. Ibid p. 184-192
  40. Instruments of Statecraft, McClintock p. 208
  41. CIA and the House of Ngô, Ahern p. 42-43
  42. Ibid p. 69
  43. Ibid p. 67
  44. In the Midst of Wars, Lansdale p. 251
  45. CIA and the House of Ngô, Ahern p. 43
  46. CIA and the House of Ngô, Ahern p. 44
  47. In the Midst of Wars, Lansdale p. 259 (note: POLITICS)
  48. Ibid p. 373
  49. The Best and the Brightest, Halberstam p. 124
  50. In the Midst of Wars, Lansdale p. 373 & 345
  51. CIA and the House of Ngô, Ahern p. 67
  52. In the Midst of Wars, Lansdale p. 147
  53. Interview of Lansdale by Stanley Karnow, 31 Jan 1979
  54. CIA and the House of Ngô, Ahern p. 62 Ahern is referencing pacification, but the comment applies to the sect crisis as well
  55. Ibid p. 75
  56. Ibid p. 109
  57. In the Midst of Wars, Lansdale p. 281
  58. CIA and the House of Ngô, Ahern p. 61
  59. Ibid p. 72-73
  60. Ibid p. 72
  61. Ibid p. 78
  62. In the Midst of Wars, Lansdale p. 279
  63. CIA and the House of Ngô, Ahern p. 79
  64. Ibid p. 84
  65. Ibid p. 81
  66. Pentagon Papers, Gravel p. 283-314
  67. CIA and the House of Ngô, Ahern p. 87
  68. A Vietcong Memoir, Truong p. 35
  69. Pentagon Papers, Gravel p. 283-314
  70. Ibid
  71. CIA and the House of Ngô, Ahern p. 70
  72. The Best and the Brightest, Halberstam p. 191

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