Tag Archive for Vietnam War

If You Believe the Government, ‘You’re Stupid’

Longtime CBS News correspondent Morley Safer.

Americans are taught the myth that their democracy is safeguarded by an independent press. But the government and other powerful entities have long mastered the art of manipulating the major media, even to the point of bluntly telling reporters the facts of life, as Jon Schwarz recalls.

JFK’s Embrace of Third World Nationalists

President John F. Kennedy reacts to news of the assassination of Congo's nationalist leader Patrice Lumumba in February 1961. (Photo credit: Jacques Lowe)

Exclusive: The intensive media coverage of the half-century anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s murder was long on hype and emotion but short on explaining how revolutionary JFK’s foreign policy was in his extraordinary support for Third World nationalists, as Jim DiEugenio explains.

Almost Thwarting Nixon’s Dirtiest Trick

President Richard Nixon.

In 1968, the public anger over the Vietnam War tempted GOP presidential nominee Richard Nixon to sabotage Democratic peace talks to seal his victory, a dirty trick that Saigon-based journalist Beverly Deepe nearly exposed before American voters went to the polls.

How JFK’s Murder Changed a Life

john-f-kennedy-35

The half-century anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s murder has prompted retrospectives on his presidency but also remembrances of what the shocking act meant to people who lived through it. Journalist Richard L. Fricker reflects on how that day changed his life.

November 1963: Days of Murder

Lyndon Johnson sworn in as U.S. President after John F. Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.  (Photo Credit: Lyndon Baines Johnson Library)

Exclusive: Two violent events in November 1963 plunged the United States more deeply into the disastrous Vietnam War, first the assassination of South Vietnamese President Diem and three weeks later the murder of President Kennedy, recalls Beverly Deepe Keever.

Dangerous History of Regime Change

Exclusive: Official Washington justifies military and political interventions in other countries under the theory of “U.S. exceptionalism.” But these “regime changes” often have unexpected results, as with the bloody coup d’etat that removed South Vietnamese President Diem a half-century ago, recalls Beverly Deepe Keever.

Hypocritical Righteousness on Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry waxed eloquent about the need to punish national leaders who violate international law. He meant Syria’s Bashar al-Assad but his lecture could have applied to American officials who enabled the invasion of Iraq, including himself, just one of many U.S. hypocrisies, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

Should We Fall Again for ‘Trust Me’?

Exclusive: Forgetting lessons from the Tonkin Gulf to the Iraq War, the U.S. news media has mostly elbowed past doubts about whether the Syrian government launched the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack and now is focused on the political drama of congressional approval for war, a big mistake says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

The Risk from Distorting Intelligence

The Obama administration’s emotional reaction to the alleged chemical attack in Syria may be understandable given the human toll, but the high-level clamor for action put pressure on intelligence analysts assessing the evidence. It also could have distorted their judgments, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

How Truth Can Save Lives

From the Archive: A vengeful U.S. military has sentenced Pvt. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for disclosing unpleasant truths about the Afghan and Iraq wars and other government deceits. Manning’s bravery inspired ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern in 2010 to reflect on an earlier dilemma between secrecy and truth.