Often, the American mainstream media becomes a de facto government employee, taking the claims of U.S. officials and reporting them as proven fact — and nothing exemplifies this penchant better than reporting on the Gulf of Tonkin incident — perhaps one of most flagrant lies ever dreamed up as a justification for war.
On August 5, 1964, the New York Timesreported,“President Johnson has ordered retaliatory action against gunboats and ‘certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam’ after renewed attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.” Additional outlets, such as the Washington Post, echoed this claim.
But it wasn’t true. At all. In fact, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, as it became known, turned out to be a fictitious creation courtesy of the government to escalate war in Vietnam — leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of U.S. troops and millions of Vietnamese, fomenting the largest anti-war movement in American history, and tarnishing the reputation of a nation once considered at least somewhat noble in the eyes of the world.
In 2010, more than 1,100 transcripts from the Vietnam era were released, proving Congress and officials raised serious doubts about the information fed to them by the Pentagon and White House. But while this internal grumbling took place, mainstream media dutifully reported official statements as if the veracity of the information couldn’t be disputed.
Tom Wells, author of the exhaustive exposé “The War Within: America’s Battle Over Vietnam,” explained the media egregiously erred in “almost exclusive reliance on U.S. government officials as sources of information” and “reluctance to question official pronouncements on ‘national security issues.’”
If due diligence had been performed, and reporters had raised appropriate doubts about the Gulf of Tonkin false flag, it’s arguable whether support for the contentious war would have lasted as long as it did.
Sadly, the United States has a tendency to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. And now, a US Army Colonel is predicting that another Gulf of Tonkin incident could bring us into war with Iran.
As President Donald Trump continues to surround himself with neocon warhawks, the drums are beating for war with Iran. The rhetoric is becoming so strong, that Trump himself — without provocation — began tweeting threats to the sovereign nation.
On Tuesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Colonel Douglas Macgregor addressed the growing prospect of US war with Iran and warned that a new “Gulf of Tonkin incident” could be used to drag us into it.
Carlson mocked the neocons’ claims that Iran is the “greatest threat” to America, explicitly noting that “virtually every attack in America has been inspired not by Iran, but by Iran’s Sunni enemies.”
Carlson pointed out how the neocons are hellbent on pushing the Trump administration into a new war. “If there was ever a swamp in Washington you are looking at it — the foreign policy establishment — they are working overtime to ensnare the president in a mess in Iran,” Carlson said. “Let’s hope that he understands exactly what’s going on.”
Pointing out Trump’s recent attempts at diplomacy with North Korea and Russia, Col. Macgregor weighed in, noting that he thinks Trump will attempt to avoid war with Iran. However, he noted that a false flag could be used to drag us into it.
“I think the president needs to watch carefully for the potential for something like the Gulf of Tonkin incident,” Col. Macgregor said. “Many of your viewers may not remember that it never happened and we could very well be treated to something like that in the Gulf. We should watch for that, and this is an example of President Trump’s comments on fake news, he should not be sabotage by fake news.”
Carlson then pointed out how the Trump admin has reacted to fake news by attacking Syria—twice.