. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Senate Foreign Relations Hearings – Dean Rusk – March 12, 1968
With news growing more pessimistic each day over the War in Vietnam, and since the start of 1968 an escalation in North Vietnamese assaults, the dissatisfaction and widening dismay over a war that seemed to have no end was now reaching the boiling point on the part of the American people. Even those supporting the war initially were turning against our continued involvement.
1968 was an election year, and the War in Vietnam was a major bone of contention and the defining issue in many political campaigns.
And so a series of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearings began on Capitol Hill. At the center of those hearings was Secretary of State Dean Rusk, the man whom much of the responsibility of carrying our Foreign Policy lay.
Over a period of several days, Rusk was grilled by a succession of Senators over our Vietnam policy, our Southeast Asia policy, our goals with Vietnam – what was going right, what was going wrong. How long was this thing going to go on for?
This 80 minute excerpt from March 12th, gives a flavor of the tone for the hearings. They went on for 10+ hours. And in the end, nothing was really resolved, except the growing public resentment towards the war, and the sharp divisions between those who felt it needed to end sooner rather than later and those who felt increased military presence was the only way to end the war.
Welcome to 1968.
Here is that testimony and questioning, from approximately 11:30 am – 1:30 pm on March 12, 1968.