Foreign Relations: Behind the Denials

The first public reaction of the U.S. Government to news of the coup in South Viet Nam (see cover story) was to throw up its hands and disclaim any sort of responsibility.

The whole bloody affair, insisted Washington officials, had been planned and carried out by the outraged Vietnamese subjects of President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu. Declared State Department Press Officer Richard Phillips: "I can categorically state that the U.S. Government was not involved in any way." Said an other Administration official about the Vietnamese: "It's their country, their war, and this is their uprising."

The Pressures....

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