Mike Gravel read into the Congressional record almost 4,000 pages of the Pentagon Papers so that history would record how the American people were lied to regarding the Vietnam war. Today, declassified reports indicate that the ‘Gulf of Tonkin incident’ was an American fabrication to garner public support for escalating US military presence in Vietnam.
But he said 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.