Independent Christian Voice


Why it's important to question and double-check the "facts" before acting

From the Associated Press:

Another war, another set of faulty intelligence findings behind it.

Forty years before the United States invaded Iraq believing Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, it widened a war in Vietnam apparently convinced the enemy had launched an unprovoked attack on two U.S. Navy destroyers.

Papers declassified by the National Security Agency point to a series of bungled intelligence findings on the purported clash in the Gulf of Tonkin that led Congress to endorse President Johnson's escalation of the Vietnam conflict in August 1964.

Among the documents released Thursday is an article written by NSA historian Robert J. Hanyok for the agency's classified publication, Cryptologic Quarterly. In it, he declares that his review of the complete intelligence shows beyond doubt "no attack happened that night."

Claims that North Vietnamese boats attacked two U. S. Navy destroyers on Aug. 4, 1964 — just two days after an initial assault on one of those ships — rallied Congress behind Johnson's build-up of the war. The so-called Gulf of Tonkin resolution passed three days later empowered him to take "all necessary steps" in the region and opened the way for large-scale commitment of U.S. forces.

This is why checks and balances are so important. One-party rule makes this extremely difficult, as the last five years have proven. This revelation serves as one more example on why citizens should take what the government says with a grain of salt, questioning information presented and challenging any rush to judgment — especially when it has grave consequences.


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