Certainly, Hearst was well ahead of his time in believing media outlets should insert themselves into events in order to affect political outcomes on behalf on the government. The Gulf of Tonkin Deception On August 4,a joint US Navy patrol ran into bad weather off the coast of Vietnam, causing problems with US radar and sonar, at a time when heightened tensions in the region had placed the US national security team on red alert. Amid the confusion, some US agent or official, either in the CIA, the NSA or the Pentagon national security structure — circulated a false report that the US Navy vessels and planes were under attack from North Vietnamese patrol attack boats in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin.
Carl Otis Schuster, U.
A National Security Agency report released in reveals unequivocally that the alleged Aug. In the first few days of Augusta series of events off the coast of North Vietnam and decisions made in Washington, D. While many facts and details have emerged in the past 44 years to persuade most observers that some of the reported events in the Gulf never actually happened, key portions of the critical intelligence information remained classified until recently.
Air action is now in execution against gunboats and certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam which have been used in these hostile operations. Speculation about administration motives surrounding the Tonkin Gulf incident itself and the subsequent withholding of key information will probably never cease, but the factual intelligence record that drove those decisions is now clear.
The string of intelligence mistakes, mistranslations, misinterpretations and faulty decision making that occurred in the Tonkin Gulf in reveals how easily analysts and officials can jump to the wrong conclusions and lead a nation into war.
The basic story line of the Gulf of Tonkin incident is as follows: As the torpedo boats continued their high-speed approach, Maddox was ordered to fire warning shots if they closed inside 10, yards.
When the boats reached that point, Maddox fired three warning shots, but the torpedo boats continued inbound at high speed. In the subsequent exchange of fire, neither American nor North Vietnamese ships inflicted significant damage.
However, planes from the aircraft carrier Ticonderoga CVA crippled one of the boats and damaged the other two. This time the U. It reveals what commanders actually knew, what SIGINT analysts believed and the challenges the SIGINT community and its personnel faced in trying to understand and anticipate the aggressive actions of an imaginative, deeply committed and elusive enemy.
The report also identifies what SIGINT could—and could not—tell commanders about their enemies and their unreliable friends in the war. The most popular of these is that the incident was either a fabrication or deliberate American provocation. Most uncertainty has long centered on the alleged second attack of August 4.
Unfortunately, much of the media reporting combined or confused the events of August 2 and 4 into a single incident. Senate investigations in and did little to clarify the events or the evidence, lending further credence to the various conspiracy theories.
McNamara that the first attack was deliberate, he denied that a second attack had ever taken place. McNamara insisted that the evidence clearly indicated there was an attack on August 4, and he continued to maintain so in his book In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons From Vietnam.
The NSA report is revealing. By including the orders and operational guidance provided to the units involved, the study develops the previously missing context of the intelligence and after—action reports from the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.
The study debunks two strongly held but opposing beliefs about what happened on both days—on the one hand that neither of the reported attacks ever took place at all, and on the other that there was in fact a second deliberate North Vietnamese attack on August 4.
The after-action reports from the participants in the Gulf arrived in Washington several hours after the report of the second incident.august 3, president johnson discusses an incident in the gulf of tonkin with defense secretary robert s. mcnamara (in two conversations) On August 2, , the American destroyer Maddox, on patrol off the coast of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, was attacked by .
The Gulf of Tonkin Incident – It all started in an emotional atmosphere of melodrama. Suddenly, on the evening of August 4, , at p.m., the President appeared on TV. He told the nation that, for the first time since the Korean War, the US would launch a military offensive on communist soil.
At that very moment, US planes were about to bomb gunboat bases in North Vietnam. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident – It all started in an emotional atmosphere of melodrama.
Suddenly, on the evening of August 4, , at p.m., the President appeared on TV. He told the nation that, for the first time since the Korean War, the US would launch a military offensive on communist soil. At that very moment, US planes were about to bomb gunboat bases in North Vietnam.
Gulf Of Tonkin Media Propaganda administration. Moreover, he reflects on the some of the most controversial issues surrounding the cold war era, specifically, the “the Tonkin Golf Incident”, and the resolution it gave way to.
The Gulf of Tonkin incident (Vietnamese: Sự kiện Vịnh Bắc Bộ), also known as the USS Maddox incident, was an international confrontation that led to the United Result: Gulf of Tonkin Resolution; escalation of the War in Vietnam.
An article from Media Beat in explains that the heavy reliance on U.S. government officials as sources of information and reluctance to question official statements on national security issues led to a lot of inaccurate media reporting, such as that on the Gulf of Tonkin incident.