This post is about something that is near to my heart…..
Ever wonder what it was that got the US ass deep on the Vietnam War?
Well August is a busy month….we have had bombs and Marilyn and in 1964 Pres. Johnson got his wish and the US was thrust into the armed conflict in Southeast Asia…..
It was 56 years ago today that a joint session of Congress approved the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, an act that led to the Vietnam War’s escalation and the eventual passage of another measure seeking to curb presidential powers.
The incident between the USS Maddox and several North Vietnamese torpedo boats remains hazy today. On August 4, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson told a national audience that the North Vietnamese had engaged the U.S. Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin. He then asked Congress to approve retaliatory attacks on North Vietnam.
“After consultation with the leaders of both parties in the Congress, I further announced a decision to ask the Congress for a resolution expressing the unity and determination of the United States in supporting freedom and in protecting peace in southeast Asia,” Johnson said the next day.
“As I have repeatedly made clear, the United States intends no rashness, and seeks no wider war. We must make it clear to all that the United States is united in its determination to bring about the end of Communist subversion and aggression in the area,” Johnson added.
On August 7, 1964, Congress approved a resolution that soon became the legal rationalization for the Vietnam War.
This resolution sent many Americans like myself into a meat grinder…..a situation that took years to work through.
It took 5 days from the incident to the resolution….and then war comes to us all….
On 2 August 1964, North Vietnamese patrol torpedo boats attacked the USS Maddox (DD-731) while the destroyer was in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin. There is no doubting that fact. But what happened in the Gulf during the late hours of 4 August—and the consequential actions taken by U.S. officials in Washington—has been seemingly cloaked in confusion and mystery ever since that night.
Nearly 200 documents the National Security Agency (NSA) declassified and released in 2005 and 2006, however, have helped shed light on what transpired in the Gulf of Tonkin on 4 August. The papers, more than 140 of them classified top secret, include phone transcripts, oral-history interviews, signals intelligence (SIGINT) messages, and chronologies of the Tonkin events developed by Department of Defense and NSA officials. Combined with recently declassified tapes of phone calls from White House officials involved with the events and previously uncovered facts about Tonkin, these documents provide compelling evidence about the subsequent decisions that led to the full commitment of U.S. armed forces to the Vietnam War.
As usual for those that are allergic to the printed word I present a short video that will help in the understanding of this situation.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”