Oral history transcript, Murrey Marder, interview 1 (I), 5/25/1982, by Ted Gittinger


Oral history transcript, Murrey Marder, interview 1 (I), 5/25/1982, by Ted Gittinger

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Marder's career history covering foreign affairs; LBJ's foreign affairs-related experience as he entered the presidency; LBJ's credibility gap in the press; LBJ's tendency to exaggerate; Marder's August 1964 coverage of the Tonkin Gulf incident for the Washington Post; North Vietnam's version of events in the Gulf of Tonkin and how it varied from the official U.S. version of events; Marder's coverage of the Multilateral Force (MLF) story and the issue of U.S. sharing access to its nuclear weapons with other countries; the role of the reporter in a war; the issue of infiltration; putting information together when no source knew or would tell the whole story; the role of the Soviet Union in the Vietnam War when Nikita Khrushchev was succeeded by Alexei Kosygin; the U.S.-Soviet-China relationship; the Viet Cong attack on Pleiku airbase in February 1965 and LBJ's decision to retaliate; whether or not negotiations were a viable option in 1965; the LBJ Administration's view that force would be required to reach a breaking point in Vietnam; government officials' denial of 1966 intentions to increase the number of American troops in Vietnam; Marder's visit to the White House and talk with LBJ; the motivation behind bombing pauses; differences of opinion among senior administrative officials; LBJ's interest in developing the economic resources of Southeast Asia; LBJ not understanding Vietnamese history and culture; Nguyen Cao Ky using LBJ's speech transcripts to write his own speeches; the conflict between theoretical war strategies and what could realistically be accomplished; the problem with increasing the number of U.S. forces in Vietnam gradually rather than suddenly; North Vietnam's psychological strength; Dean Rusk's insensitivity to European opposition to chemical warfare; speculation versus fact when reporting on the government's actions; the administration's refusal to acknowledge any change of policy regarding Vietnam; the Dominican Crisis and its impact on the Organization of American States (OAS).


Marder, Murrey


LBJ Library Oral Histories

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Murrey Marder


Ted Gittinger

Specific Item Type:

Oral history









Time Period:

Post-Presidential (Jan. 21, 1969-)