"19 Despite his reservations, Stockdale led a strike of 18 aircraft against an oil storage facility at Vinh, located just inland of where the alleged attacks on the Maddox and Turner Joy had occurred. U.S. Grant Sharp and David Burchinal telephone call, 04 August 1964 at 5:23 PM, from the DOD National Military Command Center (NMCC), recording provided by the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum. Another reporter pressed the issue, "Do these [patrol boats] go north, into North Vietnamese waters?" Suggest complete evaluation before any further action taken. William Bundy's paper dated September 8, 1964, suggested more DESOTO patrols as well. The Hanoi government (which, unlike the U.S. government, had to give permission at the highest levels for the conduct of such missions) probably assumed that they were all a coordinated effort to escalate military actions against North Vietnam. In fact, Herrick was now saying, in a message sent at 1:27 pm Washington time, that no North Vietnamese patrol boats had actually been sighted. Initial successes, however, were limited; numerous South Vietnamese raiders were captured, and OPLAN 34A units suffered heavy casualties. [36] It was not until after the United States became more involved in the war that his claim began to gain support throughout the United States government. The original account from the Pentagon Papers has been revised in light of a 2005 internal NSA historical study,[5] which stated on page 17: At 1500G, Captain Herrick (commander of Maddox) ordered Ogier's gun crews to open fire if the boats approached within ten thousand yards. The vessels appeared to be coming from several different directions, and they were impossible to lock onto. From. The destroyer was retiring to the south. 5-8; Andrade and Conboy, "The Secret Side.". He also reminded Americans that there was no desire for war. The Tonkin Gulf Resolution, essentially unchallenged by a Congress that believed it was an appropriate response to unprovoked, aggressive, and deliberate attacks on U.S. vessels on the high seas, would open the floodgates for direct American military involvement in Vietnam. [citation needed] Johnson's views were likewise complex, but he had supported military escalation as a means of challenging what was perceived to be the Soviet Union's expansionist policies. In early 1964, South Vietnam began conducting a covert series of U.S.-backed commando attacks and intelligence-gathering missions along the North Vietnamese coast. Subsequently, the White House carried the nation into the longest and one of the most costly conflicts in our nation's history. Herrick now proposed a "complete evaluation before any further action taken. "[28] It is likely that McNamara did not inform either the president or Admiral U. S. Grant Sharp Jr. about Herrick's misgivings or Herrick's recommendation for further investigation. [28], Although information obtained well after the fact supported Captain Herrick's statements about the inaccuracy of the later torpedo reports as well as the 1981 Herrick and Scheer conclusion about the inaccuracy of the first, indicating that there was no North Vietnamese attack that night, at the time U.S. authorities and all of the Maddox's crew stated that they were convinced that an attack had taken place. Codenamed Operations Plan (OPLAN) 34A, the activities were conceived and overseen by the Department of Defense, with the support of the Central Intelligence Agency, and carried out by the South Vietnamese Navy. ... U.S.-backed patrol boats shelled two North Vietnamese islands in the Gulf of Tonkin, after which the Maddox headed to the area. [5] In this context, on July 31, Maddox began patrols of the North Vietnamese coast to collect intelligence, coming within a few miles of Hòn Mê island. [41] Various government officials and men aboard Maddox have suggested similar theories. [36], After urging Congress that they should be wary of Johnson's coming attempt to convince Congress of his resolution, Morse failed to gain enough cooperation and support from his colleagues to mount any sort of movement to stop it. McMasters, Dereliction of Duty, p. 134. [citation needed], What was generally not considered by U.S. politicians at the time[according to whom?] The resolution served as Johnson's legal justification for deploying U.S. conventional forces and the commencement of open warfare against North Vietnam. after the August 1964 incidents. The destroyers were sent to the area in 1964 in order to conduct reconnaissance and to intercept North Vietnamese communications in support of South Vietnamese war efforts. Stockdale reported seeing no torpedo boats. In fact, one of the patrols' main missions was to gather information that would be useful to the raiders.2 A top-secret document declassified in 2005 revealed the standing orders to the Desoto patrols: "[L]ocate and identify all coastal radar transmitters, note all navigation aids along the DVR's [Democratic Republic of Vietnam's] coastline, and monitor the Vietnamese junk fleet for a possible connection to DRV/Viet Cong maritime supply and infiltration routes."3. McNamara asks Giap: What happened in Tonkin Gulf? By 1961, South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem faced significant discontent among some quarters of the southern population, including some Buddhists who were opposed to the rule of Diem's Catholic supporters. 21. I, Vietnam 1964 (section 278). 384", "John White's Letter to the New Haven Register, 1967", "CNN Cold War – Interviews: Robert McNamara", "New Tapes Indicate Johnson Doubted Attack in Tonkin Gulf", "Engineering in the CIA: ELINT, Stealth and the Beginnings of Information Warfare", "Gulf of Tonkin: The Record Set Straight", The Gulf of Tonkin Events—Fifty Years Later: A Footnote to the History of the Vietnam War [49], "Vietnam War Intelligence 'Deliberately Skewed,' Secret Study Says", Robert J. Hanyok: His United States National Security Council study on Tonkin Gulf Deception, "Spartans in Darkness: American SIGINT and the Indochina War, 1945–1975".

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