Corruption Case of General Nguyen Van Minh

R 140445 Z MAY 73

FM AMEMBASSY SAIGON
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1616

C O N F I D E N T I A L SAIGON 8437

EXDIS

E. O. 11652: GDS
TAGS: PINS PINT MILI VS

SUBJECT: MINH CLAIMS OTHER GENERALS PLAN TO DESTROY HIM

FOLLOWING SENT ACTION SAIGON INFO CAN THO DANANG NHA TRANG MAY 12 REPEATED FOR YOU

QUOTE BIEN HOA 0125

1. MR 3 CG LTG NGUYEN VAN MINH TODAY TOLD ME THAT A FEW HIGHRANKING GENERALS (UNNAMED) ARE PLANNING TO USE THE VIETNAMESE PRESS IN SAIGON TO DESTROY HIM. MINH SAID THAT HE HAS INCONTROVERTIBLE EVIDENCE THAT CERTAIN "ACCOMMODATING" NEWSPAPERS IN SAIGON (FOR A PRICE) WILL BE USED TO CARRY STORIES CHARGING HIM WITH INCOMPETENCE AND CORRUPTION. WHEN I ASKED HIM WHY THE GENERALS WOULD WANT TO ATTACK ONE OF THEIR OWN, MINH REPLIED THAT THEY ARE JEALOUS OF HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND THAT THEY HAVE OBVIOUSLY HEARD THAT PRESIDENT THIEU IS NOW CONSIDERING REWARDING HIM BY PINNING ON THE FOURTH STAR. ACCORDING TO MINH, THE LATTER IS WHAT ENGENDERED WHAT HE CALLS A CONSPIRACY.

2. MINH SUGGESTED THAT HIS CLOSE PERSONAL RELATIONS WITH MANY AMERICANS MIGHT ALSO BE ONE OF THE MOTIVATING FACTORS. HE SAID THAT SOME PEOPLE HAVE ADVISED HIM THAT HE APPEARS TO BE TOO DEPENDENT ON AMERICANS AND THAT THIS WAS HURTING HIM PROFESSIONALLY. MINH THEN MADE THE POINT THAT MANY GENERALS WHO PROFESS TO LIKE AMERICANS HAVE AND WILL CONTINUE TO USE AMERICANS EITHER TO ADVANCE CAREER OBJECTIVES OR SUPPORT FOR PET PROJECTS, EXCLUDING HIMSELF FROM THIS CATEGORY, HOWEVER.

3. I ASKED HIM WHAT EVIDENCE HE HAD TO SUPPORT HIS ALLEGATION. MINH SAID THAT A REPORTER FRIEND OF HIS HAD CALLED TO WARN HIM OF THE PLAN. THE REPORTER, ACCORDING TO MINH, TOLD HIM THAT ONE OR TWO OF THE GENERALS HAD BEEN IN TOUCH WITH AMERICAN FRIENDS (ALLEGEDLY CIA) FOR INFORMATION THEY COULD USE AGAINST HIM. I TOLD MINH THAT NO AMERICAN, RPT NO AMERICAN, WOULD BE A PART TO ANY SUCH MOVE.

4. COMMENT: IN ALL THE MONTHS THAT I HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH MINH, I HAVE NEVER SEEN HIM MORE WORRIED. HE IS VERY DEFINITELY TAKING THIS SERIOUSLY AND IS CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT IT MIGHT MEAN TO HIS CAREER. APART FROM BEING THE TYPICALLY PROUD VIETNAMESE. HE IS A VERY SENSITIVE AND MOODY PERSON AND IS ESPECIALLY CONSCIOUS OF HIS REPUTATION AND WHAT IT MEANS TO HIS FAMILY. I WOULD SUSPECT THAT HIS ENEMIES COULD PERHAPS PIN A CORRUPT LABLE ON HIM IF THEY CHOSE TO DO SO. THIS UNQUESTIONABLY WOULD BE THE EASIER OF THE TWO CHARGES TO SUBSTANTIATE. MINH, HOWEVER, HAS ALWAYS BEEN CAREFUL OF HIS FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS, NOT ONE TO ADVERTISE HIS ACTIVITIES IN THIS REGARD. HE HAS GONE OUT OF HIS WAY ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS TO ASSURE ME THAT HE IS NOT CORRUPT. HE USUALLY REFERS TO HIS ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE PRIME MINISTER AND THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF AS EVIDENCE OF HIS INCORRUPTIBILITY. MINH CLAIMS THAT WHATEVER FUNDS HE REQUIRES FOR ENTERTAINING OR OTHER POSITION CONNECTED ACTIVITIES ARE MADE AVAILABLE BY THE ABOVE AND THAT HE DOES NOT QUESTION THE SOURCE OF THE FUNDS.

WALKINSHAW

UNQUOTE

WHITEHOUSE

CONFIDENTIAL

This document was declassified/released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 30 JUN 2005.

Note: While investigating the corruption case of Colonel Mach Van Truong, Long Khanh Province Chief, General Hieu indicated that Colonel Truong was part of General Minh's corruption apparatus. In this cablegram, General Minh revealed that this apparatus included Prime Minister Khiem and President Thieu.

Nguyen Van Tin
22 November 2008

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