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Vietnam : A Television History
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1.

Interview With George W. Ball, 1981 [electronic resource]

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George W. Ball served in the State Department under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and later as Ambassador to the United Nations. He describes the early Johnson Administration as a period of "drift" when the US was becoming increasingly involved in Vietnam, a trend Ball opposed in numerous memos and meetings. Ball discusses his role as the voice of dissent within the Johnson administration, arguing that they learn from mistakes previously committed by the French in Vietnam. He recalls Johnson as a sympathetic and intelligent man who wanted to end the war but could not afford to lose it.
Online
1983
2.

Interview With Henry Kissinger, 1982 [electronic resource]

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Henry Kissinger's involvement with Vietnam started before he was Nixon's National Security Advisor. While at Harvard, Kissinger was a consultant on foreign policy to both the White House and State Department and in a 1973 peace agreement, Kissinger helped mediate between Washington and Hanoi. In this interview Kissinger recalls the period before he joined the Nixon White House and how he did not question the United States involvement in Vietnam. In 1965, Kissinger travelled to Vietnam and saw that the war was not winnable in the way it was currently being conducted. Moreover, he had doubts as to whether or not South Vietnam could stand on their own once the United States left. He also describes his impression of Le Duc Tho as someone whose goal was to break the morale and spirit of t [...]
Online
1983
3.

Interview With Harry McPherson, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Harry McPherson served as Special Counsel to LBJ from 1965 to 1969 and was Johnson's chief speechwriter from 1966 to 1969. McPherson begins the interview by recalling the conflicted mood at the White House following the Tet Offensive. The optimism found in military cables and official information clashed with televised images showing the nation that the war was resulting in massive loss of human life and that a prisoner could be shot at point-blank range. He also talks about the concerns LBJ had that the Vietnam War might escalate into a world war and that the goal was not to destroy North Vietnam but rather to keep them contained and not overthrow the government in South Vietnam. He ends the interview with a personal sketch of President Johnson, a complex and tragic figure.
Online
1983
4.

Interview With Jonathan F. (Jonathan Fredric) Ladd, 1982 [electronic resource]

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Jonathan Frederic (Fred) Ladd, Colonel of Special Forces in Cambodia from 1970-1972 and a political-military counselor at the United States Embassy in Phnom Penh, explains why he was appointed to the Embassy. Ladd refers to his first impressions of the military situation and of Lon Nol, stating that the Cambodians had an amateurish army, that Lon Nol was dedicated to his country, but that he was not a strong leader. Ladd recalls the infighting that was occurring in Washington and his 1971 request to return to the United States due to his feeling that the situation was out of his control: the Cambodians were becoming discouraged and the conflict was becoming a second Vietnam War.
Online
1983
5.

Interview With Lloyd M. (Mike) Rives, 1982 [electronic resource]

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Mike Rives was an American diplomat in Cambodia from 1969 - 1970. Mr. Rives describes the difficulty in dealing with Prince Sihanouk, and the atmosphere in Phnom Penh after Lon Nol took over the government. He speaks about the American incursion into Vietnam and his discussions with General Alexander Haig about giving military support to Lon Nol's government.
Online
1983
6.

Interview With Morton H. Halperin, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Morton Halperin was an American foreign policy expert who served in the Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton administrations. In 1967 he defended the bombing of North Vietnam in order to prove to its people that the Democratic Republic of Vietnam could not protect them. Under Nixon, Halperin was suspected of leaking the Pentagon Papers and his phones were tapped. He describes his reservations about being asked to draw up an option for escalation of the war. Halperin also discusses options for winding down the war that he hoped would result in the return of American prisoners of war. He reflects on intelligence operations in the US against the anti-war movement, describing it as effective but clearly illegal. He argues that the very existence of the South Vietnamese depended upon the belief by [...]
Online
1983
7.

Interview With Philip Geoffrey Malins, 1982 [electronic resource]

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British General Philip Geoffrey Malins recounts his arrival in Saigon in 1945, describing the situation as "peaceful." Malins recalls being able to drive around the outskirts of Saigon without much trouble, and how that situation soon began to deteriorate. Malins also talks about his superior General Gracey as a humane, loyal person who served as a father figure to Malins. Malins continues talking about his job and the responsibility he had to ensure there was enough food for his people and the French civil population during the postwar famine in Vietam. Malins arranged for an open market that would allow anyone to buy food. He describes the policy surrounding the market and how it affected the troops as well as the civilians.
Online
1983
8.

Interview With Lucien Conein, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Lucien Conein was an OSS officer in Vietnam in the early 1960s. He recalls the events leading up to the coup d'etat on November, 1963, which resulted in the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem's government. Conein reported plans of the coup to Ambassador Lodge and recalls the US government made it clear to the planners, ahead of time, that the US would neither support nor thwart Diem's overthrow.
Online
1983