Former Secretary of State Dean Rusk said Thursday that former President Johnson had no plans to widen the Vietnam war prior to the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident.
SV PAN Rusk enters room and takes seat
GV Senate Hearing Committee
MV Rusk speaking (SOUND)
TRANSCRIPT: RUSK (SEQ. 2)
"It is very clear that in August, 1964, the President did not have plans to enlarge the war. It is true that down the line there were staff contingency discussions and planning about what might happen if North Vietnam did this or that. But those plans were not plans in the President's mind. As a matter of fact, until almost a year later if any of them ever got to the President he turned them down and the record will show that. To respond particularly to your question the President did not have plans at the time of the August '64 resolution to expand the war and indeed did not do so as far as ground troops are concerned until almost a year later, about eight or nine months later and as far as the air war is concerned, did not do so until the following March. So, I would say, Sir there was no deception at that time."
Initials BB/1441 SG/BOB/BB/1447
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Former Secretary of State Dean Rusk said Thursday that former President Johnson had no plans to widen the Vietnam war prior to the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident. Mr. Rusk is testifying before a senate committee which is studying the question of trying to limit presidential powers in foreign policy making. He denied that president Johnson had misled the American people on his Vietnam war plans as indicated in the Pentagon classified study of the war's origins.