Gareth Porter


Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for Inter Press Service, discusses evidence that Robert McNamara never told LBJ the August 4, 1964 Tonkin Gulf attack on the USS Maddox and Turner Joy never happened, information revealed in recorded phone conversations between LBJ and McNamara released in 2006 and Gareth Porter’s own phone conversation with McNamara. (Note: recorded on June 22, 2009)

MP3 here. (14:50)

Gareth Porter is the author of Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam. His articles appear on the Huffington Post, Inter Press Service News Agency and on

7 thoughts on “Gareth Porter”

  1. That second "attack" was pure, unadulterated bullshit. Hell, the commodore of DesDiv 192 (MADDOX and C. TURNER JOY), Captain John Herrick, USN, recommended a full evaluation of the incident before going off half-cocked.

    McNamara was dishonorable. Despite what he really thought of the war, he never went public with his doubts, never criticized the war or LBJ after leaving office.

  2. Too, recall that there was one witness to both of the Gulf of Tonkin "Incidents." His name was James Stockdale (then CAG, now deceased). His after-action report on the second event implied his F-8 Crusaders were firing at thunder storms.

  3. I don't believe there ever was any "attack". But even if there WAS, what business did American ships have being just off the coast of North Vietnam anyways? How would Americans react if Vietnamese naval vessels were operating off the shores of California?

  4. Even if there was an attack why turn it into a causus belli. Was the North Viet Nam navy about to attack US mainland? Were we existentially threatened? Only somebody of the low moral stature of a McNamara would have such a childish attitude to war.

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