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The mystery(?) of Marigold

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    Posted: 06 Mar 2012 at 18:20
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB369/index.htm

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But on that cloudy Tuesday, after months of furtive machinations by Polish and Italian intermediaries (with the Soviets lurking in the shadows), Washington and Hanoi have agreed that their ambassadors to Poland will meet to confirm a ten-point outline of a settlement, or at least a basis for direct talks. John A. Gronouski and Do Phat Quang are but a short stroll apart on the western banks of the Vistula River, the American huddling with Poland's foreign minister at his office, the North Vietnamese waiting at his embassy with a special emissary who has flown all the way from Hanoi to deliver guidance for the unprecedented encounter-a document so sensitive that his wife sewed it into his vest, and a senior North Vietnamese official ordered him to destroy it before dying should his plane crash.

But the rendezvous between enemy diplomats doesn't occur that day.or the next.or the next, until, a week later, the whole business collapsed in a welter of mutual recriminations, hidden at first, but soon to explode into a scandal that would attract global headlines and widen President Johnson's "credibility gap"-and then vanish into history, unresolved, concealed by the thick fogs of war, diplomacy, and Cold War secrecy. To LBJ, it was all shadows and mirrors, a "dry creek," because the "simple truth" was that Hanoi was not ready to talk; his surrogates, from Dean Rusk to Walt Rostow to William Bundy to Averell Harriman to Robert McNamara to Henry Cabot Lodge, loyally parroted the party line (despite private doubts in some cases) that it was all a phony, a Polish "scam" or "sham" or "fraud" or "shell-game" or even a KGB disinformation plot.

Were they even really that close? What may have been.
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