Doctored Intel to Justify Going to War

Not Iraq — Viet Nam:

A TOP US spy agency has declassified data showing agents skewed intelligence to back claims of a communist attack on a US destroyer in 1964, an incident which led to the escalation of the Vietnam war.

The National Security Agency (NSA) today admitted defeat in a long battle to keep the explosive article, printed in 2001 in its in-house journal, secret. Senior NSA officers had apparently feared the findings could prompt comparisons to claims the Bush administration twisted intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The article, by NSA historian Robert Hanyok, based on signals intelligence or SIGINT, concludes what historians have long suspected – there was no second attack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats on US destroyers on August 4, 1964.

President Lyndon B Johnson used the supposed second attack, two days after a confirmed initial strike, to argue for retaliatory air strikes on North Vietnam and to ask Congress for authority to act with a free hand in Vietnam.

So why should Iraq be different? Look, this has been happening for a long, long time. The USS Maine wasn’t blown up by the Spanish; World War I would have ended a year or two earlier if we hadn’t jumped in; FDR knew the Japanese were coming and withheld info from Admiral Kimmel at Pearl Harbor; and the PR firm Hill & Knowlton was used to stir up American outrage at fabricated atrocities in Kuwait to justify Gulf War I.

Do you detect a pattern here?


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