Daniel Ellsberg and Gareth Porter discuss the late-Secy. of Defense Robert McNamara’s role in hiding evidence regarding the Gulf of Tonkin Incident used to grant LBJ authorization to use military force in Vietnam without a formal declaration of war. Mr. Ellsberg discusses the intelligence operations in North Vietnam to provoke blowback, the “Pentagon Papers” he leaked, and false-flag operations.
Scott. Horton is on vacation for a couple of weeks. These interviews were recorded 22 June 2009 and posted today.
7 July 09 | AntiWar Radio
Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, discusses the events leading to the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, earlier CIA attempts to provoke N. Vietnam retaliation, Robert McNamara’s role in hiding evidence that the second Tonkin Gulf incident never happened, the possibility an earlier leak of the Pentagon Papers would have prevented the Vietnam War and saved millions of lives, the sociological explanation of how government secrets are kept and the U.S. penchant for planning false-flag operations that sacrifice American lives. (65:00):
In 1959 Daniel Ellsberg worked as a strategic analyst at the RAND Corporation, and consultant to the Defense Department and the White House, specializing in problems of the command and control of nuclear weapons, nuclear war plans, and crisis decision-making. He joined the Defense Department in 1964 as Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs), John McNaughton, working on Vietnam. He transferred to the State Department in 1965 to serve two years at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, evaluating pacification on the front lines.
On return to the RAND Corporation in 1967, he worked on the Top Secret McNamara study of U.S. Decision-making in Vietnam, 1945-68, which later came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In 1969, he photocopied the 7,000 page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; in 1971 he gave it to The New York Times, The Washington Post and 17 other newspapers. His trial, on twelve felony counts posing a possible sentence of 115 years, was dismissed in 1973 on grounds of governmental misconduct against him, which led to the convictions of several White House aides and figured in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.
7 July 09 | AntiWar Radio
Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for Inter Press Service, discusses evidence that Robert McNamara never told LBJ the August 4, 1964 Tonkin Gulf attack on the USS Maddox and Turner Joy never happened, information revealed in recorded phone conversations between LBJ and McNamara released in 2006 and Gareth Porter’s own phone conversation with McNamara. (14:50):
Gareth Porter is the author of Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam. His articles appear on the Huffington Post, Inter Press Service News Agency and on Antiwar.com.
8 July 09 | The Raw Story
Official government documents reveal new side of defense secretary’s legacy.
Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense from 1961 to 1967, took many secrets with him when he died Monday at 93. But probably no secret was more sensitive politically than the one that would have changed fundamentally the public perception of his role in Vietnam policy had it been become widely known.
The secret was his deliberate deceit of President Lyndon B. Johnson on Aug. 4, 1964 regarding the alleged attack on U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin.
Documents which have been available for decades in the LBJ Library show clearly that McNamara failed to inform Johnson that the U.S. naval task group commander in the Tonkin Gulf, Captain John J. Herrick, had changed his mind about the alleged North Vietnamese torpedo attack on U.S. warships he had reported earlier that day.
By early afternoon Washington time, Herrick had reported to the Commander in Chief Pacific in Honolulu that “freak weather effects” on the ship’s radar had made such an attack questionable. In fact, Herrick was now saying, in a message sent at 1:27 pm Washington time, that no North Vietnamese patrol boats had actually been sighted. Herrick now proposed a “complete evaluation before any further action taken.”