|Democracy Now! Funder/ex-LBJ Special Assistant Bill Moyers With LBJ|
Yet prior to the November 1964 presidential election, according to University of Utah Professor of History Goldberg's 1995 book, the Democratic President and 1964 Democratic Party presidential candidate Lyndon B. Johnson "had authorized covert military action against North Vietnamese targets." As the same book recalled:
"Begun in February 1964, the American-conceived Operation Plan 34A deployed South Vietnamese forces in sabotage activities, commando raids, and the shelling of northern coastal facilities...U.S. Navy destroyers, while not officially part of these actions, patrolled in close proximity, monitored North Vietnamese responses, and gathered military information. By spring , staffers had designated targets in North Vietnam for a future air war...To effect this, they drew plans for the deployment of U.S. air strike forces to Southeast Asia...Publicly, Johnson...gave no hint of Operation Plan 34A and did not reveal administration scenarios to increase America's military commitment...
"During the first week of August 1964, President Johnson announced that Navy destroyers Maddox and C.TurnerJoy had been subjected to `unprovoked' attack in the Tonkin Gulf off the North Vietnamese coast. On Aug. 7, (1964), Congress took Johnson at his word and approved the Tonkin Gulf Resolution...American warplanes proceeded...to bomb naval and storage facilities along the northern coast..."
|Democracy Now! Funder/Schumann Media Center Inc. foundation Prez Bill Moyers|
"...Johnson loyalists Bill Moyers, Abe Fortas, and Clark Clifford, among others, planned a negative campaign that caricatured Goldwater as...dangerous...Goldwater as president would unleash nuclear war...The Johnson White House established the Five O'Clock Club, which planted spies like E. Howard Hunt (on leave from the Central Intelligence Agency) in the Goldwater camp. Reporters were encouraged to feed Goldwater's off-the record remarks to the White House staffers and to provide advance copies of the Republican's speeches for simultaneous rebuttal. The `Anti-Goldwater Program' also led to collusion between the press and the government to manipulate the news (according to `Anti-Goldwater Program' memo to Bill Moyers of Sept. 10, 1964 that can be found in Box 117, `Republican Party' Subject File of White House Central Files in Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library)...
"The Department of Defense supplied facts and figures to seemingly neutral journalists to bolster Democratic claims and refute the Republicans. White House aide Walter Heller furnished `ammunition' to syndicated columnists Walter Lippmann and Sylvia Porter...Advertising was LBJ's most prized weapon...Among Bill Moyers' suggestions to the advertising firm Doyle Dane Bernback was a television spot in which `he [Goldwater] could have his finger--or that of some field commander--on the nuclear trigger.' [Bill Moyers to Lloyd Wright, Sept. 14, 1964, Box 481, Frederick Panze Papers, Johnson Presidential Library]. Agency executives accepted the theme and developed it further. The images of Goldwater they eventually pitched to the American people remain case studies in the art of negative campaigning..."
Ironically, after the 1964 GOP presidential candidate apparently pledged on Sept. 3, 1964 to abolish the U.S. military draft if elected and before the Democratic Johnson administration's pre-September 1964 covert military actions against North Vietnamese targets became more overt and escalated in South Vietnam in 1965, LBJ said on Sept. 28, 1964 that "We are not going north and drop bombs at this stage of the game;" and, according to Professor of History Goldberg's 1995 book:
"In the last weeks of the campaign Johnson hammered Goldwater...on the issue of war and peace...In Akron, Ohio, Johnson observed: `...We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to do for themselves.'"