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GIMME SOME TRUTH January 10, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in South East Asia.
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Now more than forty years later it has been revealed that the Gulf of Tonkin incident that resulted in a massive escalation of US forces in Vietnam was a hoax. The report by the National Security Agency provided by a mandatory declassification request to the Federation of American Scientists says that officials lied about the incident.

Steve Aftergood, (via Common Dreams), the director of the FAS, told AFP that:

. . . probably the “most historically significant feature” of the declassified report was the retelling of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident.That was a reported North Vietnamese attack on American destroyers that helped lead to president Lyndon Johnson’s sharp escalation of American forces in Vietnam.

The author of the report “demonstrates that not only is it not true, as (then US) secretary of defense Robert McNamara told Congress, that the evidence of an attack was ‘unimpeachable,’ but that to the contrary, a review of the classified signals intelligence proves that ‘no attack happened that night,’” FAS said in a statement.

“What this study demonstrated is that the available intelligence shows that there was no attack. It’s a dramatic reversal of the historical record,” Aftergood said.

“There were previous indications of this but this is the first time we have seen the complete study,” he said.

The report also says that the North Vietnamese were able to penetrate the “full spectrum dominance”. The report notes:

During the war, North Vietnamese intelligence units sometimes succeeded in penetrating US communications systems, and they could monitor American message traffic from within, according to the report “Spartans in Darkness.”

On several occasions “the communists were able, by communicating on Allied radio nets, to call in Allied artillery or air strikes on American units,” it said.

So we have new dimensions to the “fog of war”. “Spartans of Darkness” is somewhat embarrassing to the Athenians, and will not get much air play, except by implication thousands died unnecessarily, a striking parallel of the then Vietnam War and the current war in Iraq.

Postscript:

I suppose the reference is clear enough. Anyway here is John Lennon:

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