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Watergate Anniversary

Inaugural 1997

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Capitol Steps


Karenna Gore weds Andrew Schiff(2MB QuickTime)

Watergate 1973 (8:30 VXtreme)

George Bush Skydiving (1M QuickTime)

Rudy Giuliani's New Outfit (736K QuickTime)

Dole Takes a Tumble (1.3MB QuickTime)


July 21: The LBJ Tapes IV

July 21: The LBJ Tapes III

June 30: Capitol Steps

June 12: Watergate Anniversary

Apr. 11: 53rd annual Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner

Feb. 20: The LBJ Tapes II

Feb. 20: The LBJ Tapes

Feb. 4:State of the Union

Jan. 20: Inaugural 1997


Conventions - RNC, DNC

Debates - Prez, Veep


sights & sounds

The LBJ Tapes, Part III

Americans were told that on Aug. 2 and Aug. 4, 1964, there were two unprovoked attacks by North Vietnamese patrol boats on U.S. destroyers in international waters.

Congress reacted quickly, passing a resolution which effectively gave President Lyndon Johnson a blank check to wage war in Southeast Asia.

Recently released recordings of calls between Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara show that on the morning of Aug. 4, they were expecting the second attack and had planned a response.

gun man radio operator

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An hour later McNamara called back to report the attack had begun.

johnson planes macnamara

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But no one ever reported visual confirmation of a North Vietnamese patrol boat or torpedo. The commander of the destroyer Maddox later suggested the initial report might have come from an overeager sonar operator.

On Aug. 8, the day after Congress gave Johnson his Gulf of Tonkin resolution, McNamara was on the phone again, advising the president on how to respond to the charge that the U.S. ships had been involved in attacks by South Vietnamese forces against North Vietnamese islands.

guy with binoculars destroyer

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McNamara then explained to the president that the U.S. was behind those South Vietnamese missions as part of a covert plan.

These recordings suggest that when President Johnson ordered air strikes in response to the Gulf of Tonkin attacks and asked Congress for approval for more military action, he believed that North Vietnam had attacked first. But just two years ago, when Robert McNamara visited Hanoi, and met with his old enemies, he confessed that he never knew what really happened.

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