Born in Chicago in 1931, military strategist Daniel Ellsberg helped strengthen public opposition to the Vietnam War in 1971 by leaking secret documents known as the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. The documents contained evidence that the U.S. government had misled the public regarding U.S. involvement in the war.
On June of 1967, the secretary of defense, Robert McNamara, ordered officials in the headquarters of the U.S. military to gather a history of U.S. policy toward Vietnam. Daniel Ellsberg, one of the officials hired by McNamara, helped compile a 7,000-page, 47-volume document that Ellsberg called "evidence of a quarter century of aggression, broken treaties, deceptions, stolen elections, lies and murder." Daniel Ellsberg began …show more content…
According to John T. Correll who states that in 1964 "Johnson and McNamara said that the central U.S. aim was to secure an 'independent, non-Communist South Vietnam. '" but on March 24, 1965 McNaughton says that the United States main priorities are: "70 percent- to avoid a humiliating U.S. defeat, 20 percent- to keep South Vietnam territory from Chinese hands, and 10 percent- to permit the people of South Vietnam to enjoy a better, freer way of life." The reason the Pentagon Papers was so shocking to the public was because people began to realize that the government hasn 't been telling the whole truth about the Vietnam War. Also, of the main focuses was on the freedom of press issues. The Pentagon Papers didn 't cause a national security problem other than the fact that the Vietnam War wasn 't over yet. The articles would have given the North Vietnamese people an early understanding of the U.S. 's "objectives, strategies, uncertainties, and degrees of commitment" had the documents not been several years old by the time of …show more content…
The U.S.’s involvement in the Vietnam War led to the revolutionary change of American society in how they chose to view their country’s government and how they choose to abide by its wishes. The war created an entire new movement of young adults who weren’t afraid to question what they viewed as injustice; they stood for peace and love, and protested for it. Draft evasion showed that the American people didn’t have to fight for a war that they didn’t believe in. The revelation of the Pentagon Papers showed that citizens had a right to know what their country was doing. This left millions of Americans wondering; when does loyalty to one’s state end? Does following a separate set of morals, that of which contradict your government, make
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government was the release of the Pentagon Papers because it exposed some of the highest ranked political leaders participating in scandals, including the Watergate scandal, which assisted in the downfall of the Nixon administration. Commissioned by the administration of former president Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967, the Pentagon Papers, a 47-volumed, 7,000 page document, detailed 3 decades of U.S. involvement in Vietnam and proved that the government knowingly took steps to increase its involvement in the conflict despite the government’s assurance to the public of the contrary (Rudenstine, 2003). Daniel Ellsberg, a consultant at the Rand Corporation and a contributor to the report, leaked the report to the New York Times in June 1971. Although Nixon attempted to block its publication, he failed to suppress the growing suspicions ("The Pentagon Papers.", 2009). I claim that the exposure of this report is another event which significantly contributed to the U.S. government’s credibility gap.
“Woodstein” and Watergate, Edward Snowden and the NSA, and Seymour Hersh and My Lai exposed the hidden wrongs of the US government with staggeringly influential power to change both the government and journalism. Here, we will be focusing on the fallout from Hersh’s reports on the 1968 massacres at My Lai (“Pinkville”), Vietnam. With the exposer of US Army immorality by Seymour Hersh of the St. Louis Dispatch in a series of reports the field of war journalism was forever changed into two distinct eras, Pre and post Vietnam and fundamentally changed the journalist, military relationship.
On March 8th 1965, America entered the Vietnam war. The United States entered the war in an effort to prevent the spread of communist beliefs. On May 30th, 1970, President Richard Nixon declared that the South Vietnamese army, along with American troops were going to invade the country of Cambodia. This was to disrupt North Vietnamese supply lines. The news of the invasion struck people with anger and fear throughout America.
The atrocities committed against Vietnamese civilians was a political threat to Nixon’s strategy of Vietnamization. Nixon’s goal was to turn the war over to the South Vietnamese so that he is able to withdraw most of the U.S. troops. The massacre in My Lai would further justify the resistance of the enemy and it was the complete opposite of what Nixon wanted to accomplish.
The war of Vietnam was caused by men who didn’t really understand the impact their decisions would make. They were not strategic and they didn’t take any advice from the militaire that actually knew what they were doing. Kennedy didn’t trust the Eisenhower and JCS, and didn’t take advice from the Pentagon or the old guard. One of the men in command, Alain Enthoven, was very arrogant and hotheaded. In McMaster’s words, Enthoven, “held military experience in low regard and considered military men intellectually inferior.”
One of the most controversial wars in history and a turning point in American foreign policy, the emotions and events surrounding the Vietnam War capture the essence of the era. The rise of rebellious youth culture and anti-war and anti-draft movements were key social aspects of American life leading up to and during the fighting. (Doc 2, 3) On the political side, Congress aimed to control the Chief-Executive with legislation such as the War Powers Act of 1973, requiring the president to remove all unreported troops in Vietnam and report any further sent. (Doc 7) To say the country was divided would be a massive understatement.
As the war raged on in Vietnam, controversy grew in America. In the years onward from 1950, technology advanced and enabled everyday citizens to be able to own, operate, and observe nationwide news (Kratz 1). Described as “graphic and upsetting,” photos and videos captured on the battlefield were displayed on public news (“American” 1). The government censored all news from the press, and anything the military did not want disclosed to the public was hidden (Kratz 2). As the trial began many Americans began to chant the iconic phrase, “The whole world is watching” (McDowell 2).
Johnson’s decisions in Vietnam are complex and debated about to this day. Johnson was left with this issue from Kennedy and as a strong proponent of the Domino Theory he believed that going to war with Vietnam was the right decision. The Vietnam war would devolve into disastrous policy and resulted in the loss of life of numerous Americans. However, while his decisions were disastrous he recognized that a continuation of his presidency would only seek to divide the country more.
The war in Vietnam to do this day has gone down as one of the influential and controversial wars in United States history. The war lasted from 1955 to 1975.The nation as a whole began to uproar over the war and the major consequences of the war. There were many reasons why so many Americans were against the war. Public opinion steadily turned against the war following 1967 and by 1970 only a third of Americans believed that the U.S. had not made a mistake by sending troops to fight in Vietnam (Wikipedia). Not to mention, many young people protested because they were the ones being drafted while others were against the war because the anti-war movement grew increasingly popular among the counterculture and drug culture in American society and
Nixon wanted to end the war just like every other American. He had many plans for this war and one of them was called Vietnamization. Vietnamization was a policy that would replace U.S. troops with South Vietnamese troops and supply them with supplies and weapons (Rubel 182). It was a way to retreat U.S. troops and end involvement in the war. Even though he ended involvement in the Vietnam War by withdrawing U.S. troops, he decided to bomb enemy forces in Cambodia (Lillegard 71).
To begin with, the Vietnam War, one of the most paramount foreign policy events during Nixon’s time in office. Often times, ending it is added into Nixon’s list of accomplishments. But was it really as simple as that? This is a perfect example of how there is much more to the iceberg than just the tip.
In a “Vietnam Veterans against the war”, John Kerry’s comment on President Nixon not wanting to become, “the first President to lose a war,” illustrates just how insistent Nixon was on maintaining a superior Presidential image of power. Ironically, Nixon has one of the more, if not the most, tarnished Presidential image due to the Watergate scandal. Kerry’s speech drove the idea that the Veterans fighting in Vietnam did not believe that they were there to do good and did not feel that they were the “heroes” liberalizing the Vietnamese from the dangers of communism. As he notes, most people there did not understand the difference between communism and democracy. The freedom the Vietnamese sought was liberation from the helicopters, the bombs,
Section 1: Identification and Evaluation of Sources The purpose of this investigation is to explore the question: How did the Tet Offensive change American public opinion on the Vietnam War? The focus of the investigation will be on the years 1965-1970 in order to allow for analysis of American public opinion from the beginning of American involvement to the years following the Tet Offensive. Sources analyzing the Tet Offensive as a whole and American public opinion on the Vietnam War will be used to accurately determine the effects of the Tet Offensive on American public opinion. The first source that will be evaluated is the book “The Tet Offensive,” which was written by Marc Gilbert and William Head in 1996.
Also, newspapers revealed stories and government secrets that proved that the American people were being lied to ( New York Times vs. the United States). The Vietnam war is believed by some to be a war deeply rooted in economics. Many aspects of the United States were affected directly. The Great Society programs were suffering because the money that was put towards the war, could have been used to help poverty programs.