• Short Summary

    WASHINGTON (UPI) -- DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT S. MCNAMARA SAID WEDNESDAY THAT COMMUNIST MIG JET FIGHTER?

  • Description

    WASHINGTON (UPI) -- DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT S. MCNAMARA SAID WEDNESDAY THAT COMMUNIST MIG JET FIGHTER ACTIVITY INCREASED ENOUGH IN THREE WEEKS TO JUSTIFY U.S. BOMBING RAIDS ON NORTH VIETNAMESE AIRFIELDS.

    ATTACKS ON THE MIG BASES WERE CITED BY SEVERAL DEMOCRATIC SENATORS WHO CHARGED TUESDAY THAT PRESIDENT JOHNSON HAD DECIDED TO EXPAND THE WAR TO A POINT DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO WORLD WAR III.

    MEETING NEWSMEN AFTER A CLOSED SESSION WITH THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE, MCNAMARA ACKNOWLEDGED THAT ON APRIL 3 HE HAD RULED OUT BOMBING MIG BASES.

    "AT THAT TIME," HE SAID, OUR PASSES WERE ??? NOT ATTACKING. SINCE THAT THE ??? MIGS HAVE BEEN MUCH MORE ACTIVE, AND IT SERVED ??? TO ATTACK."
    MCNAMARA ??? COMMENT WHETHER HE CONSIDERED THE RAIDS LAST MONDAY TO BE AN ESCALATION OF THE WAR.

    AT HIS APRIL 3 NEWS CONFERENCE, THE PENTAGON CHIEF SAID THE DECISION NOT TO BOMBS THE MIG BASES WAS "BASED ON OUR DESIRE TO AVOID WIDENING THE WAR, TO SEEK TO OBTAIN OUR POLITICAL OBJECTIVE, WHICH IS A VERY LIMITED OBJECTIVE WITH THE SMALLEST POSSIBLE COST IN AMERICAN LIVES."
    "THIS BELIEF CAN CHANGE AS TIME GOES BY," HE ADDED THEN, "BUT WE THINK UNDER PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES THE LOSS IN U.S. LIVES WILL BE LESS IF WE PURSUE OUR PRESENT TARGET POLICY THAN THEY WOULD BE WERE WE TO ATTACK THOSE AIRFIELDS."
    IT GENERALLY WAS THOUGHT THAT THE UNITED STATES WANTED TO AVOID CHASING MIGS TO BASES IN COMMUNIST CHINA, WITH THE OBVIOUS RISKS THAT WOULD ENTAIL, BUT MCNAMARA DID NOT MENTION THIS ARGUMENT IN HIS NEWS CONFERENCE.

    MCNAMARA ALSO WAS ASKED WEDNESDAY WHETHER HE AGREED WITH GEN. WILLIAM C. WESTHORELANDS CRITICISM OF DOMESTIC ANTIWAR DEMONSTRATORS, WHICH SOME NATIONS SAID WAS AN ATTEMPT BY THE PRESIDENT TO STIFLE DEBATE ON HIS VIETNAM POLICIES.

    THE SECRETARY REPLIED HE HAD ALWAYS FAVOURED FREE SPEECH, AND ADDED: "I WOULDN'T LIKE TO SEE ANY ACTION TAKEN THAT WOULD RESTRICT IT. FREE SPEECH CARRIES WITH IT THE RESPONSIBILITY TO BE INFORMED AND TO LISTEN TO THE NEWS OF THE OPPOSITION.

    HE SAID THE RESPONSIBILITY BEARS EQUALLY ON SUPPORTERS AND CRITICS OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY.

    SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER MIKE MANSFIELD TOLD NEWSMEN "I DO NOT THINK THE ADMINISTRATION IS TRYING TO STIFLE CRITICISM OF DISSENT. I THINK IT WOULD WELCOME CRITICISM IF IT IS CONSTRUCTIVE."
    HE AGREED WITH A SUGGESTION THE UNITED STATES IS GETTING IN "DEEPER AND DEEPER IN VIETNAM. "AS FAR AS THE PRESIDENT IS CONCERNED," HE SAID, "I AM SURE HE IS SEEKING EVERY WAY POSSIBLE TO THE CONFERENCE TABLE."

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAF4RMNXDAJR1ENQYGVP7QESL4G
    Media URN:
    VLVAF4RMNXDAJR1ENQYGVP7QESL4G
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    27/04/1967
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:41:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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