In a preview of the Presidential campaign he will open formally early next month, Senator Barry Goldwater Wednesday (19 August) charged that President Johnson jeopardized U.
In a preview of the Presidential campaign he will open formally early next month, Senator Barry Goldwater Wednesday (19 August) charged that President Johnson jeopardized U.S. airmen by giving North Vietnam warning of the strike at its torpedo boat bases.
In a speech before a crowd of 15,000 at the Illinois State Fair, Goldwater said the President went on television in the evening to announce the attack while the maximum audience was still available, but when U.S. planes were still two hours away from their targets.
"Certainly the element of surprise was shattered by the advance warning," Goldwater said. "Certainly the safety of our airmen was not the primary concern of such an advance warning."
The U. S. lost two pilots--one presumed dead, the other captured--in the attack, but the Defense Department has denied that the Vietnamese were able to do anything in preparation for the attack despite the President's TV appearance.
Goldwater will not open his campaign formally until September 3rd at Prescott, Arizona. But his talk Wednesday was frankly political.
At another point in his address, he challenged Mr. Johnson to debate him on television and said Mr. Johnson's refusal so far to do so was because of weaknesses in the administration's foreign policy.
"Only under administrations such as this one have we become so weak that agressors have been tempted to plunge the world ???."