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Vietnam : A Television History
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41.

Interview With Horace W. Busby, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Horace Busby, Special Assistant to President Johnson, discusses Johnson's presidency and his decision not to run for re-election in 1968. He describes Johnson's 1961 trip to Vietnam as Vice President, and recounts his reactions as President to the Pueblo Incident and the Tet Offensive. In addition, Busby reflects on Johnson's character and his style as a leader.
Online
1983
42.

Interview With J. Vinton (Vint) Lawrence, 1981 [electronic resource]

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A former United States CIA paramilitary officer, Vinton J. Lawrence was stationed in Laos from 1962 to 1966. Lawrence recalls arriving in Vientiane. After the Geneva Convention only two CIA agents were allowed to stay in-country, Lawrence and Tony Poe. Together Lawrence and Poe set up base in Long Cheng and began to work closely with Vang Pao. Lawrence contends that Vang Pao was not a creation of the CIA but rather a trained soldier who had completed officer's school. Lawrence recalls his impression of Vang Pao as a dynamic man and a natural leader. Lawrence also talks about the evolution of Long Cheng from a bucolic place to a overpopulated shanty town. Lawrence recalls his feelings about his time in Laos and his sorrow as to what has happened to its people, who he believes have gon [...]
Online
1983
43.

Interview With Jack Valenti, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Jack Valenti served as a special assistant to President Johnson from 1963 to 1966. He discusses Johnson's early attitude towards Vietnam and his effort to win support through the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. He describes Johnson's deliberations over sending troops into Vietnam, escalating the war, and how to finance it. He recounts Johnson's feeling that every military action in Vietnam would help to end the war. Finally, he reflects on Johnson's character and recalls the "Daisy" commercial incident.
Online
1983
44.

Interview With Jack Keegan, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Father Jack Keegan was a classmate of Ngo Dinh Diem's at the Maryknoll Seminary. He recalls Diem as someone not of great importance, but rather as simply another student. He describes Diem as having a Chaplinesque walk and being very enigmatic. Keegan remembers that Diem was fluent in French yet spoke stilted English. Diem, according to Father Keegan, was very studious, taking his Catholic studies seriously.
Online
1983
45.

Interview With Jane Barton, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Jane Barton went to Vietnam with the American Friends' Service Committee to work in a rehabilitation clinic and to observe the treatment of prisoners in Quang Ngai, South Vietnam. She describes evidence of torture and the complicity of the American government. She describes the damages inflicted on Vietnamese civilians by relocation programs and by landmines. Finally, she discusses the negative attitudes of the Vietnamese in her area towards the government of South Vietnam and the American presence.
Online
1983
46.

Interview With James Claude Thomson, 1981 [electronic resource]

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James Claude Thomson served as an East Asia Specialist in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. He comments on a lack of expertise on Asia in the US government in the 1950s and 1960s. Thomson helped draft the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, and he recalls the process to get it passed through Congress. He discusses the effects of the Democratic Party's fear of looking soft on Communism on Vietnam, and recalls his dismay at the escalation of the war in 1965.
Online
1983
47.

Interview With James M. Fallows, 1982 [electronic resource]

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James Fallows, a military affairs writer for the Atlantic Monthly among other publications, recounts his loss of faith in American leadership as a student at Harvard in the late 1960s. He describes being increasingly uncomfortable with the war just before the time he learned he had a low draft number, making it likely he would be sent to Vietnam. Fallows goes into detail about the lengths Harvard and MIT students would go to receive deferments, all but ensuring families like theirs - upper class families - would be spared the physical costs of the war.
Online
1983
48.

Interview With John D. Negroponte, 1981 [electronic resource]

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From 1964 to 1968, John Negroponte was Second Secretary in Saigon; from 1968 to 1969, a member of U.S. Delegation to Paris Peace Talks; and from 1970 to 1973, a member of the National Security Council staff. He describes the mood in Paris in 1968 as euphoric, thinking the negotiations for peace with the North Vietnamese would be quick. He discusses President Nixon and Secretary Kissinger's thinking about the negotiations in the context of China and the Soviet Union. He describes the character of Le Duc Tho, who secretly met with Kissinger to help advance the Peace Accords. Negroponte goes into detail about the issue of the withdrawal of North Vietnamese troops from the South. He describes the purpose of the Christmas Bombing of North Vietnam in 1972 and responds to questions about Ni [...]
Online
1983
49.

Interview With John Chancellor, 1982 [electronic resource]

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John Chancellor was a White House press correspondent during the early Johnson administration. In 1965, he became director of Voice of America. Here he describes President Johnson's relationship with the media and his mission at Voice of America. He discusses the challenge of broadcasting America's first "televised war" and describes tension for journalists between covering anti-war activity and amplifying it. He recalls Spiro Agnew's attack on the press. Finally, he describes the stages of war news coverage and the evolving relationship between the press and the government.
Online
1983
50.

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
51.

Interview With John James Flynt, Jr., 1982 [electronic resource]

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John James Flynt, Jr., was a Congressman from Georgia from 1954 to 1979. Flynt talks about his constituency as of 1965 as being largely supportive of the war effort, almost out of tradition for supporting government decisions. He recounts the deference offered by Congress to the president and his cabinet members, particularly in testimony on the conduct and progress of the war. He describes Congress as being "in awe" of the president at the time of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution but that awe fading within the next two years as constituents expressed dissatisfaction. He recounts being critical of the anti-war movement, being of the opinion that it undermined the war effort, including protests at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. Flynt describes his 1971 decision to turn agains [...]
Online
1983
52.

Interview With L. Dean Brown, 1981 [electronic resource]

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L. Dean Brown retired from a 29-year career with the State Department in 1975. Specializing in the Middle East, he had served in Jordan and Cyprus. Two weeks after he retired, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger recalled him to organize the evacuation of Saigon. Here Brown describes the logistics of organizing the evacuation, raising Congressional funds, and the decision to evacuate thousands of Vietnamese, in addition to Americans. Brown downplays the panic portrayed by the media, recalling the events of April 1975 as relatively orderly. He describes empty helicopters leaving Vietnam in the early days of the evacuation because Ambassador Martin, optimistic about a political resolution, failed to organize evacuees. Finally, he praises Gerald Ford's leadership skills and his ability to [...]
Online
1983
53.

Interview With John Kerry, 1982 [electronic resource]

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John Kerry commanded swift boat operations in Vietnam from 1968-1969, earning two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star. He would later return to the US and become a highly visible spokesperson for "Vietnam Veterans Against the War." In this interview he describes his missions in Vietnam and his misgivings around their purpose. He discusses his participation in the Winter Soldier Investigation and the effects of atrocities committed by William Calley and others on the anti-war movement. Finally, he recalls the death of his friend, Don Droz.
Online
1983
54.

Interview With Kenneth Moorefield, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Kenneth Moorefield was an adviser to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in 1967 and 1968, and then returned to Vietnam as an assistant to the ambassador from 1973 until the end of the war. He discusses the challenges faced by the Americans in Saigon after the Paris Agreement was signed, but aggression from North Vietnam continued. Among these was the rampant corruption among the South Vietnamese political structures and the effects of Watergate on the political climate in the United States. Mr. Moorefield details the catastrophic withdrawal of the South Vietnamese army and civilians from the country's central region, and the days before the evacuation of Saigon. He goes into great detail of the chaos of the evacuation and how he tried to help Vietnamese civilians who wanted t [...]
Online
1983
55.

Interview With le van Tri, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Le Van Tri discusses his medical work treating fallen Viet Cong soldiers in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He describes working under difficult conditions at Bach Mai Hospital, where the operating room was located underground and lit by oil lamps. He also describes the bombing of the hospital and day-to-day struggles to provide medical care in a war zone.
Online
1983
56.

Interview With le Tran Nhan, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Le Tran Nhan was a South Vietnamese draftee, working as an interpreter between Americans and South Vietnamese officials. He describes what he learned from interrogating North Vietnamese prisoners of war, in particular that they knew when Americans would be moving into an area because aerial and naval bombardments would increase. Le Tran Nhan also attests to the benefits of having rich Americans around to spend money. He describes the reaction of North Vietnamese prisoners of war to seeing Saigon for the first time, not believing such wealth could exist. And he speaks about his reaction to Thieu's election, the signing of the Paris Peace Accord, and Nixon's resignation.
Online
1983
57.

Interview With Lucien Bodard, 1981 [electronic resource]

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French reporter and writer Lucien Bodard recalls life in Saigon during 1954 and the rise of the Binh Xuyen, the Vietnamese paramilitary crime organization. Bodard also discusses the relationship between the United States and France and their relationships with the culture and people of Vietnam.
Online
1983
58.

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
59.

Interview With Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, 1982 [electronic resource]

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As the sister-in-law of President Diem, Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu was considered the first lady of South Vietnam in the late 1950s through the early 1960s. Here she argues that the Diem government was the only legitimate government in South Vietnam, that they were undermined by the United States and that the United States, therefore, paid a price. She discusses the Buddhist Crisis of 1963 and the results of the Paris Peace Accords. She reflects on Ngo Dinh Nhu and President Diem's characters and her own reputation as the "Dragon Lady" of Vietnam. Finally, she describes the diplomatic efforts of Ngo Dinh Nhu towards North Vietnam and the arrogance of the United States in intervening.
Online
1983
60.

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