A well preparation for elimination of Ngo’ family
According to Robert Shaplen's "Assassination in Saigon", an early phone call on Nov/1st/63 to Shaplen in New York from Hong Kong, asking to speak to Dang Duc Khoi, former Presidential Palace press speaker, a pro-CIA agent on Nhu's manhunt for his coup conspiracy. CIA sent him to New-York as a diplomatic parcel recently. An undoubted CIA writer as Shaplen stood next to him was receiving fresh-news of a coup d'état in Saigon. He prepared to come back to Saigon for his duty. CIA Lieutenant colonel Lucien Conein, on behalf of Ambassador Cabot Lodge directly contacted with conspirators. A certain amount of cash was funneled through the embassy and distributed through various channels to the coup leaders. Though the CIA admits to only a negligible amount-some 42,000 dollars, but in reality there was the payments approximated 600,000 dollars. This money was used to ‘persuade’ a number of key officers in Third and Fourth Corps to along with the coup passively, if not actively. Fourth Corps, in the Mekong-Delta, in particular, was dominated by pro-Diem commanders, and the men who mounted the coup, notably General Don and Minh, were concerned about ‘neutralizing’ these officers so they wouldn’t cause any trouble.
The coup makers had some funds at their disposal, but as the conniving with different military and civilian groups became more complicated, they ran short. It was at this juncture, especially in the final fortnight; some sources speculated that Washington decided to help out. Thus though they were not active participants in the coup, the approval if not encouragement given by top American officials, including President Kennedy, became a determinant factor. But according the urgent message which Bundy sent to Lodge was testified so different? Kennedy was on Diem side to the last moment.
Conspirators like Khoi and Nguyen Dinh Thuan were promised to having leadership like Lon Nol in Cambodia. A US document of Georgia University Professor Francois X. Winters, page 17 quoted President Diem courageous words to Thuan and Khoi "Even they (US) have sent a dozen Lodge, I will never let them dishonor me and Vietnam"
Cabot Lodge was described by US politicians and media as a political "old fox" and a "coup specialist". He was a Republican, a Bones-man, a capitalist warlord link political party who came to Saigon for "untangling" mission, in fact a brutal-coup. He was assigned by pressure on Kennedy who as Roman-Catholic was just wanted Diem to be exiled in safety.
Nhu quietly threw counter anti-coup projects Bravo I, II ... but unable to win. On 10/2/63, Don met CIA agent Conein at Tan Son Nhut airport (usually as he met R. F. Miller in 1960) and Conein met Gen. Minh three days later in Saigon to guarantee their quests. Many more Conein-Don meetings were occurred at a dental salon in Saigon later. New ambassador Lodge just arrived to Saigon after "Buddhist event" to carry out US/NSC and U.S States Department approval for coup. Don promised Ton That Dinh, a power hunger general, a Cabinet seat of Homeland Minister. Dinh was trusted by Diem as a loyal military leader who controlled all military forces of III Corps, including the Capital and Special Forces of Col. Le Quang Tung. But general Dinh betrayed Diem at last for his acknowledge of US scam.
Col. Nguyen Van Thieu, commander of 5th Infantry Div. was ordered to move one Infantry regiment with heavy artilleries, armors and combat engineers from late October with many last minute changes of battlegrounds and no report of enemy from 2nd Bureau at the areas. He ordered his troops to VC stronghold Boi Loi on 10/30/63 and then to Phuoc Tuy, stopped on Saigon-Vung Tau highway on 10/31 at night. The troops were ordered to move to Saigon with another armor unit of Van Kiep from Ba Ria. In the afternoon, headquarter and a regiment were set at a Pedagogy Academy on Cong Hoa boulevard. Many key positions inside the capital had been occupied by Col Thieu forces.
At the same time, Col. Nguyen Huu Co came to My Tho province with his platoon to meet Col. Bui Dinh Dam at his office on Dinh's request. Dam was ordered to give Co his controlled command post immediately. Dam, a Diem loyal person agreed without question because he was smart enough to understand the Americans' plot when he was working with John Paul Vann. Co ordered all ferry boats to gather on the north side across Bac My Thuan and Ben Tre ferry-piers to prevent a regiment of Cao's 9th Division from crossing the river. Don called Cao to staying out and at midnight has asked him to support Military Revolutionary Council (MRC)
A signal shot was fired at 1:30PM on 11/1/63. Saigon Radio station and National Police Headquarter were occupied. Palace guards and Gia Long Palace were surrounded. Don and Minh called Diem to surrender. Conspirator Nguyen Dinh Thuan, Deputy Defense Minister and Presidential Palace Minister, openly told press reporters included CIA writer Robert Shaplen that "the atmosphere around Gia Long Palace looks like Hitler's last days"