Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Light Shed on Nixon Government Struggle with Vietnam War Public Unrest

A news item in the December 3rd Wall Street Journal carried the headline “Nixon Memo Highlights Dilemma Over Vietnam.”

On December 2nd the National Archives opened nearly 200 hours of White House tape recordings along with 90,000 pages of documents. The news item stated:
A newly declassified memo to Nixon from his secretary of defense at the time reflects just how much the administration felt and discussed public pressure – even as it weighed U.S geo-political strategy – in anguished internal debate over war policy.
The Journal’s Washington Wire online blog included this information:
The tapes cover nearly 1,400 conversations that took place between November and December 1972, including conversations about the elections that year, revamping the executive branch and the decision to bomb Hanoi and Haiphong in North Vietnam.
For those of you who haven’t read my novel MRS.LIEUTENANT, you may not know that each chapter starts with a news item in the spring of 1970 when Vietnam War protests were major news and President Nixon repeatedly defended U.S. fighting in Southeast Asia. So I was surprised today to read this news item about “anguished internal debate.”

If you’re a history buff, you can get the recordings online at the Nixon Library.

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