Nixon Shoots His Mouth Off

Nixon blows the lid on the fake Diem cables that Hunt worked on for weeks, first in research and then with scissors, glue, and a Xerox machine. Nixon slipped the possibility of the cables into a press conference answer. The non sequitur was “getting it out there” the “complicity in the murder of Diem.” It was supposed to stick out like a sore thumb, as a cue to some intrepid reporter to start digging into the question of whether Kennedy had ordered Americans to stand down as Diem was murdered. That reporter could then be leaked a cable dated two days before Diem’s murder that read: AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL MEETING TODAY, DECISION RELUCTANTLY MADE THAT NEITHER YOU NOR HARKIN SHOULD INTERVENE IN BEHALF OF DIEM OR NHU IN THE EVENT THEY SEEK ASYLUM. Howard Hunt had forged it from chunks of real cables using scissors, glue, and a Xerox machine. The president’s words proved too oblique. All that work by Hunt in Room 16… wasted