October 5, 2011
10-05-2011
2,702 Views
 
Start At s      End At s
 
Width px      Height px
 
Autostart
Link
Embed Code
Available Versions
 
00:00:08>> FROM THE CENTER FOR THE STUDY
AND TEACHING OF WRITING AND A
HIGH OF THE UNIVERSITY THIS IS
"WRITERS TALK."
00:00:18WILLIAM SHKURTI HOLDS A MASTERS.
HE WAS THE CHIEF FINANCIAL
OFFICER BEFORE BECOMING AN
ADJUNCT PROFESSOR FOR THE JOHN
00:00:30GLENN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
HE SERVED IN VIETNAM AS AN
ARTILLERY OFFICER AND THAT
INSPIRED HIM TO WRITE HIS BOOK
00:00:38"SOLDIERING ON IN A DYING WAR."
JOHN GUILMARTIN JR. IS A
PROFESSOR AND A VIETNAM WAR
VETERAN WHO WAS TAUGHT HISTORY
00:00:49AT THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY, RICE
UNIVERSITY, AND THE NAVAL WAR
COLLEGE.
HE IS THE AUTHOR OF SEVERAL
00:00:55BOOKS INCLUDING TWO ON THE
VIETNAM WAR -- "A VERY SHORT
WAR," AND "AMERICA IN VIETNAM,
THE FIFTEEN YEAR WAR."
00:01:06THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.
THIS BOOK GOT ITS START SIX
MONTHS AFTER YOU CAME BACK FROM
ACTIVE DUTY AND YOU START A SO-
00:01:18CALLED WASHINGTON POST"
FRONTPAGE -- A "WASHINGTON POST"
ARTICLE THAT'S PART YOUR
INTEREST.
00:01:30FLASH FORWARD A COUPLE OF YEARS.
IT TOOK A NUMBER OF YEARS FOR
THE BOOK TO COME OUT.
YOU ARE INVESTIGATING THE WHOLE
00:01:40TIME?
>> OFF AND ON.
I WAS STILL ON ACTIVE DUTY.
I WAS STATIONED IN SORT OF NEED.
00:01:47I SAW THE PICTURE.
I READ THE ARTICLE.
THERE WERE SOME THINGS THAT DID
NOT ADD UP.
00:01:53THE BASE LOOKED THE SAME BUT
HAVE A DIFFERENT NAME.
THEY TALK ABOUT AMERICAN
INFANTRY PROVIDING SECURITY.
00:01:59WHEN I WAS THERE THERE WERE NO
INFANTRY PROVIDING SECURITY.
ONE THING THAT CAUGHT MY EYES
WAS SET AS AN OFFICER LARRY
00:02:10OFFICER YOU NEVER ABANDONED GUNS
IN THE FACE OF AN NSC -- AS AN
ARTILLERY OFFICER YOU NEVER
ABANDON GUNS IN THE FACE OF YOUR
00:02:22ENEMY.
I WAS CURIOUS AS TO WHAT THIS
WAS ABOUT.
THE MORE I GOT INTO IT, THE MORE
00:02:30QUESTIONS WERE RAISED.
I WAS TRYING TO GET ON WITH MY
LIFE AND I HAD OTHER THINGS TO
DO, TOO.
00:02:36I WANTED TO WRAP THIS UP.
IT WAS ON AND OFF FOR A WHILE.
AS I GOT OLDER AND MORE
INTERESTED IN IT ALMOST
00:02:44COMPELLED ME TO TRY TO FIND
ANSWERS.
>> LET'S GET TO WHAT HAPPENED TO
DRAW YOUR INTEREST.
00:02:52PERHAPS YOUR THE BEST TO
DESCRIBE THE BECAUSE THAT WILL
LEAD US INTO THE DISCUSSION OF
YOUR BOOK.
00:02:58WHAT IS YOUR DESCRIPTION OF THE
INCIDENT THAT LED TO THE ARTICLE
AND WHAT YOU WOULD SAY IS
SENSATIONALIST COVERAGE.
00:03:08>> THERE WAS A LINE FOR THE END
OF THE ARTICLE AND WHAT THE
REPORTER MENTIONED WERE THAT THE
INITIAL REPORTS OF THE NEW NEED
00:03:19WERE INCORRECT.
THE PRESS CORRECTED THAT AT THE
TIME, BUT HE SAID IN MANY WAYS
IT WAS KIND OF A MICROCOSM OF
00:03:28THE CHALLENGES FACING THE LAST
AMERICANS ON THE GROUND IN
VIETNAM AS THE WAR WOUND DOWN.
I SAID I COULD RELATE TO THAT.
00:03:39SO, IF IT WAS NOT A NEW TO ME,
WHAT WAS IT?
WHY WERE THEY PULLED OUT SO
FAST, WHY WAS IT NAMED PACE?
00:03:46THOSE WERE THE THINGS IT STARTED
TO COME TOGETHER.
I THINK WHAT FINALLY PUSHED ME
OVER THE EDGE IN TERMS OF IT
00:03:54BEEN A BOOK IS I ASKED THE
NATIONAL ARCHIVES FOR A COPY OF
THE DAILY DUTY LOGS.
I REMEMBER THOSE FROM THE DAYS I
00:04:03WAS IN THE ARMY.
IT TURNED OUT THE ARTILLERY
UNITS -- THEY LIKE TO KEEP
RECORDS.
00:04:10THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO.
THE INFANTRY GUYS ARE ACTION
PEOPLE.
WHAT THEY HAD WAS ALMOST AN
00:04:21HOUR-BY-HOUR RECORD.
A COUPLE OF THINGS CAUGHT MY
EYE.
THEY WERE TOLD THAT THIS IS WHY
00:04:27THE BASS WAS UNDER SIEGE.
THE DEVELOPMENT CONTINGENCY
PLAN, DESPITE THE GUNS, WHICH IS
A TERM FOR INOPERABLE AND
00:04:36GETTING OUT OF THERE AS FAST AS
THEY CAN.
THE SAME LOG HAD REPORTS LIKE
600 VIETNAMESE SOLDIERS SPOTTED.
00:04:43DEBT IS KIND OF WHAT GOT ME INTO
IT.
ALSO -- THAT IS KIND OF WHAT GOT
ME INTO IT.
00:04:52AS IPHONE OF BELLMORE, ONE OF
THE FIRST THINGS I WANTED TO
FIND AS ICE FOUND OUT MORE, ONE
OF THE FIRST THINGS I -- AS I
00:05:04FOUND OUT MORE, ONE OF THE FIRST
THINGS I LOOK THAT WAS ONCE THEY
DEFIED COMMANDERS DID IT GET
WORSE?
00:05:11I FOUND OUT THIS WAS A VETERAN
UNIT WITH A GOOD UNIT WITH A
GOOD RECORD BEFORE AND AFTER.
WHY WOULD THEY BE DIFFERENT?
00:05:20.
ONE WAS THERE WAS A DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN THE ARTILLERY COMMAND
STRUCTURE AT PACE AND THE
00:05:30INFANTRY COMMAND STRUCTURE ABOUT
WHAT THE PROPER ROLE OF THE
COMMAND SOLDIERS WAS.
THE ARTILLERY PEOPLE WANT TO THE
00:05:42INFANTRY TO FIGHT HAND-TO-HAND.
THE INFANTRY SAID THERE ARE ONLY
50 OF LAWS AND 1500 OF THEM,
THAT IS A SUICIDE MISSION.
00:05:52THAT IS PART OF WHAT THE
INTENTIONS WERE.
IN NO WAY THEY REFLECTED THE
UNDERLYING TENSIONS OF A LESS
00:05:58PART OF THE WAR.
THE TROOPS THAT WERE BEING
WITHDRAWN -- THE TROOPS THAT
REMAINED WERE MORE EXPOSED.
00:06:07>> THAT IS WHAT YOU COVERED IN
YOUR BOOK BECAUSE YOU'RE TALKING
ABOUT THE END OF THE VIETNAM WAR
AS WELL, ONE OF THE LAST
00:06:15MILITARY ACTIONS TOWARD >> THAT
IS CORRECT.
THIS IS THE LAST MILITARY ACTION
OF THE VIETNAM WAR, NOT AGAINST
00:06:22THE VIETNAMESE, BUT THE
CAMEROONS.
>> WHAT HE IS DESCRIBING ABOUT
THE EXPOSURE, THIS IS DIFFERENT
00:06:33BECAUSE THEY HAVE TAKEN HOSTAGE
OF A BOAT THAT WAS NOT MILITARY,
CORRECT?
>> THAT IS CORRECT.
00:06:45THE CREW WAS TAKEN HOSTAGE.
WE THOUGHT THEY HAD TAKEN THEM
OFF OF A SMALL ISLAND.
PRESTON FORD SAID GET THEM BACK.
00:06:55-- PRESIDENT FORD SAID GET THEM
BACK PAY THE PEOPLE THAT WERE
GOING TO GET THEM BACK WHERE
MARINES.
00:07:05THEY WERE NOT NEAR AT THE TIME.
THEY HAVE TO BE FLOWN TO THE
NAVAL BASE.
AS IT TURNED OUT, THERE WERE TWO
00:07:14HEAVY-LIFT HELICOPTERS.
ONE OF WHICH I WAS ASSIGNED TO.
WE BROUGHT OUR HELICOPTERS DOWN
FROM NORTHEASTERN THAILAND TO
00:07:26SOUTHEASTERN THAILAND, AND
SHOVELED THE MARINES ON TO THE
ISLAND.
-- SHUTTLED THE MARINES ON TO
00:07:34THE ISLAND.
THE COMMENTS STRUCK A RESPONSIVE
CHORD BECAUSE AS THE ARTILLERY
FOLKS WE DEAD -- WE HAVE DONE
00:07:45THINGS DIFFERENTLY.
WE HAD NEVER WORKED WITH THE
MARINES BEFORE.
WE NEVER HAD AN ASSAULT
00:07:51HELICOPTER OPERATION.
THERE WAS A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT
OF MISUNDERSTANDING WITHIN THE
CHAIN OF COMMAND.
00:07:57THAT HAVING BEEN SAID, WE WORK
TOGETHER RATHER EFFECTIVELY.
>> FOR BOTH OF YOU, THIS WAS
PUBLISHED IN 1995, AND THIS WAS
00:08:07PUBLISHED IN 2011, ALTHOUGH YOU
WROTE AN ARTICLE THAT PRESAGE
DID IN THE IDEA THAT YOU COVERED
SOME OF THE SAME GROUND IN 2008.
00:08:17SO, THERE IS A LONG TIME BETWEEN
THE ACTIONS THAT YOU WERE
INVOLVED IN OR INTERESTED IN AND
WHAT HAPPENED HERE.
00:08:26TELL ME ABOUT AS RIDERS TO YOU
APPROACHED THAT AND WORK THROUGH
THAT LONG SPAN OF TIME?
>> IN MY CASE I WAS A TRAINED
00:08:39HISTORIAN.
I MISSED THE OPERATION BY ONE
HELICOPTER.
IT WAS A VERY CONTROVERSIAL
00:08:47OPERATION.
THERE WERE MANY MISSTEPS ON THE
PART OF THE CHAIN OF COMMAND.
IT WAS OBVIOUSLY GOING TO BE
00:08:52CONTROVERSIAL.
I WAS CONCERNED TO GET THEIR
RECORDS SO THAT I COULD AT SOME
POINT DOCUMENT WHAT HAPPENED --
00:09:02GET THEIR RECORDS SO THAT I
COULD AT SOME POINT DOCUMENT
WHAT HAPPENED TO ATTACH THE
PROPER CREDIT AND BLAME.
00:09:09>> AT THE TIME YOU WERE
COLLECTING THE INFORMATION?
>> THE SMOKE WAS STILL IN THE
AIR AND I WAS INTERVIEWING
00:09:18PEOPLE.
>> DOES THAT NOT GET YOU IN
TROUBLE?
>> ABSOLUTELY NOT.
00:09:26THE STUFF THAT I WAS COLLECTING,
THE STUFF I WAS COLLECTING THAT
WAS MOST VALUABLE WERE FLIGHT
RECORDS, WHO WE PUT ON, WE PUT
00:09:44OFF.
THOSE WERE NORMALLY DESTROYED.
IT TURNS UP THE TIMELINE OF THE
OFFICIAL HISTORY WAS WARPED
00:09:52BECAUSE IT WAS BASED ON A REEL-
TO-REEL TAPE.
VARIOUS AGENCIES LISTENED TO THE
TAPES SO LONG THAT IT STRETCHED
00:10:01SO TIMES NO LONGER CORRELATED.
HAVING COLLECTED A COUPLE OF
YOUNG LIEUTENANTS RECORDS, I WAS
ABLE TO READJUST THE TIME LOG
00:10:13AND GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT WAS
DUE.
>> IS THAT A TYPICAL THING WHERE
THEY WOULD BE RECORDING ALL OF
00:10:19THAT?
>> SURE.
THAT WAS A DAY CONTROL TECH --
THAT WAS ON A CONTROL AIRCRAFT.
00:10:34THEY DID NOT CONTROL THE BATTLE.
THEY DID CONTROL THE BATTLE OF
SOMETIMES, I SHOULD BE FAIR.
THAT WAS CONTROLLED.
00:10:42THE UNUSUAL THING WAS THERE WAS
A PROFESSIONALLY-TRAINED
HISTORIAN THERE WHO UNDERSTOOD
THE NATURE OF THE OPERATION, ME,
00:10:50AND I FELT AN OBLIGATION TO
RECORD IT.
>> YOU HAD A DIFFERENT STORY.
YOU ARE LOOKING INTO OTHER
00:10:58RECORDS.
WHAT WAS THE EXPERIENCE
GATHERING THE RECORDS?
YOU WERE SIX MONTHS BACK IS THAT
00:11:05WHEN YOU BEGAN?
>> I STILL HAVE IT SOMEWHERE.
WHEN I READ THE "WASHINGTON
POST" STORY, I CLICKED IT AND
00:11:15SAVED IT.
IT JUMPED AT ME.
I WANTED TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL,
AND I STARTED WORKING FOR A
00:11:22LIVING.
IT WAS NOT LIKE I COULD PURSUE
THIS.
I WOULD DO IT OFF AND ON.
00:11:26I THINK PROBABLY FIVE OR SIX
YEARS AGO I REALIZED AT SOME
POINT THERE IS A STORY HERE AND
I WROTE THAT ARTICLE YOU
00:11:39MENTION, "A MINOR REBELLION" AS
A TEST TO SEE IF I COULD WRITE
SOMETHING PEOPLE WANTED TO READ.
I FELT GOOD ABOUT THAT, AND AT
00:11:53SOME POINT I KNEW IT WAS TIME
FOR ME TO RETIRE AND I WOULD
HAVE TO DEVOTE MORE TIME THAN I
COULD WHILE STILL WORKING A REAL
00:12:02JOB SO I TIME TO MY RETIREMENT
TO DO IN THE FINAL PROOF.
IT TAKES A LOT OF TIME.
I SAW ON SOME TALK SHOW
00:12:14SOMEWHERE WHERE AN AUTHOR SAID
TO DO A GOOD JOB YOU HAVE TO BE
OBSESSED WITH IT.
I FELT LIKE I WANTED TO FIND OUT
00:12:25EVERY TWIST AND TURN.
I WROTE MYSELF A LIST OF FIVE OR
SIX QUESTIONS I WANTED TO ANSWER
MYSELF THAT WERE NOT APPARENT.
00:12:35NO ONE SEEMS TO BE FORTHCOMING.
>> THIS IS THE NIGHT AMBUSH THE
STATE REFUSED TO FOLLOW THROUGH
ON?
00:12:45>> RIGHT.
>> WELL, THAT IS A SEGUE FOR ME.
I'M CURIOUS ABOUT YOUR EMOTIONAL
REACTIONS.
00:12:56WHEN YOU CLICK SOMETHING LIKE
THAT, IT IS PROBABLY NOT SAYING
YAY, YOU KEEP IT THAT LONG
BECAUSE YOU DISAGREE WITH IT,
00:13:09YOU ARE UPSET WITH IT, YOU WANT
TO PROVE IT WRONG.
IN BOTH OF THESE BOOKS IT SEEMS
LIKE THAT MIGHT BE PART OF WHAT
00:13:16MIGHT BE MOTIVATING YOU -- LET
ME GET THE REAL STORY, THE STORY
NOT ENCAPSULATED IN THIS READING
TURNED THE STORY THAT IS NOT
00:13:26SHOWN SOMEWHERE ELSE -- THE
WRITING OF HISTORY SEEMS TO BE
ABOUT THE FILLING ENOUGH HOLES
IN THE RECORDS.
00:13:32>> LET ME DISAGREE JUST A LITTLE
BIT.
I THINK THE REPORTER DID A GOOD
JOB AND I TOLD HIM THAT WHEN I
00:13:42INTERVIEWED HIM.
IT WAS STUFF I FOUND OUT
AFTERWARDS, PART OF WHICH WAS A
BOOK WRITTEN BY RICHARD BOYLE,
00:13:50THE MAN WHO REPORTED THE NEW TO
THE STORY -- MUTINY STORY.
THE EMOTION THAT ORIGINALLY
STARTED WAS CURIOSITY.
00:14:08WHEN I GOT BACK I WAS NOT SURE
WHAT WE ACCOMPLISHED AND WHAT
THE MEANING OF ALL THAT WAS.
TO ME, THE EMOTIONAL PART OF THE
00:14:18BOOK ESPECIALLY AFTER TALKING
TO VETERANS WAS RECOGNIZING THAT
THERE WAS SOMETHING WE WERE
FIGHTING FOR BUT IT WAS NOT THE
00:14:25BROADER POLITICAL OBJECTIVES
THAT WERE KIND OF MOTTLED.
WE WERE FIGHTING FOR EACH
OTHER, AND THAT IS AN HONORABLE
00:14:33THING TO DO.
ONE OF THE THINGS I BROUGHT BACK
HOME WITH ME AND I CONSIDER THIS
WITH JOE AS A PILOT, THE SAME
00:14:42GUYS THAT REFUSE TO GO ON
PATROL WITHOUT ORDERS WENT OUT
IN A DANGEROUS MISSION TO RESCUE
PILOTS.
00:14:54THE REASON THEY DID IT IS
BECAUSE THEY KNEW THE PALACE
WERE STICKING THEIR NECKS OUT
FOR THEM.
00:14:59>> THAT TALKS ABOUT YOUR
REACTION SPREAD TALK ABOUT THE
EMOTIONAL REACTION ABOUT WRITING
ABOUT A WAR IN WHICH YOU HAVE
00:15:08PARTICIPATED IN?
>> THAT STRUCK SOME RESIDENT
CHORUS.
THE OPERATION WAS CONTROVERSIAL.
00:15:16OVERALL IT WAS A SUCCESS, BUT
THE USUAL IMAGE THAT WE SEE IN
OPERATIONS OF THIS SORT IS THAT
COMMANDERS GIVE ORDERS, THE
00:15:25SUBORDINATES EXECUTE ORDERS, AND
IT ALL WORKS OUT WELL.
IN THIS CASE THERE WAS A
TERRIBLE INTELLIGENCE FAILURE AT
00:15:32THE BEGINNING.
THE ORDERS WERE NOT ALWAYS
RELEVANT TO WHAT WAS GOING ON.
DISASTER WAS AVERTED.
00:15:40WE ALMOST LOST COMPANY.
DISASTER WAS AWARDED BY
DECISIONS MADE BY FIRST
LIEUTENANT'S, SARGENTS, YOU NAME
00:15:50IT.
I WAS AWARE OF THIS.
I WANTED TO SEE THE DOCUMENT.
>> BOTH OF YOU HAVE DONE A FIRST
00:16:01PERSON INTERVIEWS FOR THE TWO
BOOKS.
TELL ME WHAT THAT WAS LIKE,
KNOWING THAT YOU WERE GOING TO
00:16:08WRITE ABOUT IT?
KNOWING THE PEOPLE INVOLVED,
WHAT I ASSUME IT IS YEARS LATER?
>> MY INITIAL INTERVIEWS WERE
00:16:20DONE IN A NOTEBOOK THAT I KEPT
IN THE POCKET OF MY FLIGHT SUIT
RIGHT AFTER THE FACT, AND IT WAS
ALL VERY FRAGMENTED.
00:16:30MEMORY CAN BE VERY DISJOINTED.
THERE ARE TIME COMPRESSIONS.
I COULD NOT TELL YOU WHAT IS
CONNECTED TO WHAT.
00:16:37I SIMPLY WROTE IT DOWN AND SET
IT ASIDE FOR SEVEN YEARS UNTIL I
HAVE TIME TO WRITE IT UP.
THEN I WAS ABLE TO GO INTO THE
00:16:46ARCHIVES.
I WAS ABLE TO CONNECT THINGS AND
TAKE THESE ISOLATED COMMENTS IF
PEOPLE HAD MADE TO ME AT THE
00:16:53TIME AND I SHOULD SAY THIS -- I
WAS STRUCK BY THE CANDOR THAT
THESE PEOPLE EXHIBITED WHEN I
WAS ASKING WHAT HAPPENED, WHEN
00:17:03AND WHERE.
>> YOU ARE PROBABLY NOT USED TO
SPEAKING TO A HISTORIAN RIGHT
AFTER THE FACT.
00:17:10>> THAT IS TRUE, BUT I WAS A
SQUADRON MATE.
THEY WERE BRUTALLY HONEST.
WHEN THEY DID NOT REMEMBER, THEY
00:17:17WOULD SAY SO.
WHILE THE TIMES DIDN'T ALWAYS
MATCH UP, THEY WERE REMARKABLY
GOOD.
00:17:23YOU HAVE TO CHECK IT AGAINST THE
TAPE IN THIS CASE.
>> A LOT OF TIMES YOU DO NOT
HAVE FIRST-PERSON ACCESS.
00:17:33THAT HAS TO BE AN INTERESTING
EXPERIENCE TO DISCUSS WITH
STUDENTS.
MOST OF THE TIME YOU ARE BETTING
00:17:41THAT WHAT HE WAS SOON TO BE
FACTUAL DATA.
IN THIS CASE, PART OF ME READS
THAT THERE ARE ALSO UPSET, WERE
00:17:48STILL STINGING FROM THE
DIFFICULTIES.
I HAVE NOT BEEN IN COMBAT.
I WOULD BE TERRIFIED AFTER WORD
00:18:00STOKER >> DATASETS WILL BE
CORRECT AND THE HISTORIAN HAS TO
BE AWARE -- AFTER.
>> YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.
00:18:08THE HISTORIAN HAS TO BE AWARE OF
THAT.
>> I REMEMBER READING A BOOK ON
D-DAY, AND HOW EVERYTHING WENT
00:18:16WRONG, AND HOW THE PEOPLE WHO
SAVED THE DAY WERE THE SERGEANTS
AND LIEUTENANTS WHO IMPROVISED.
I ALWAYS FELT GETTING STUCK AT
00:18:25THE TAIL TO THE TOLL OF THE WAR
I NEVER GOT THE BIG DAY-BATTLE
-- THE BIG BE DAY BATTLE.
ONE OF THE THINGS I'VE FOUND IS
00:18:36THAT A LOT OF THINGS THERE DID
NOT GO AS PLANNED, AND PEOPLE
WHO IMPROVISED, THE TENANTS,
CAPTAINS, SARGENTS, THEY WERE
00:18:48THE ONES THAT SAVED THE DAY.
IT IS THE CLASSIC AMERICAN
REACTION THAT YOU IMPROVISE.
THAT IS AN IMPORTANT THEME IN
00:18:58THIS BOOK WHEN I TALK ABOUT WHY
THINGS WERE HELD TOGETHER.
I'VE UNDERSTOOD BETTER NOW WHAT
MY UNIT DID WHY WE DID WHAT WE
00:19:06DID, AND I THINK IT WAS HELPFUL.
>> THAT AS UPS OF THE CLOSET.
-- THAT IS ABSOLUTELY CLASSIC.
ONE OF THE SERIOUS PROBLEMS THE
00:19:18MARINES HAVE WERE THAT THE
FIGHTERS WERE NOT ABLE TO GIVE
THEM CLOSE AIR SUPPORT.
TWO AIR FORCE RESCUE HELICOPTER
00:19:26PILOTS MANAGED TO CONTACT THE
MARINES.
THAT WAS NOT PART OF OUR SHTICK.
THEY CONTACTED A SIDE-FIRING GUN
00:19:34SHIP AND THEN PUT THE GUN SHIPS
IN TOUCH WITH THE MARINES WHO
DID NOT KNOW HOW TO WORK WITH
ONE OF THESE THINGS.
00:19:41IT TURNED OUT BECAUSE OF THESE
TWO FIRST LIEUTENANT'S WORKING
ON THEIR OWN, THEY WERE ABLE TO
BOAST A BUNCH OF BUNKERS AND
00:19:54DEFECT A LINK-UP.
>> -- BOSS TO A BUNCH OF BUNKERS
AND THE FACT TO A LINK-UP.
>> YOU GO INTO THE ARCHIVES.
00:20:07YOU HAVE THE MILITARY POWER --
ARCHIVES.
WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE YOU
NOTICED BETWEEN THE NEWSPAPER
00:20:16ACCOUNTS AND THE MILITARY
ACCOUNT, NOT NECESSARILY
INEFFECTUALITY OR THE REPORTING,
BUT IN THE WAY YOU'VE SAID THIS
00:20:27IS SOMETHING I'M GOING TO TRUST
OR INCLUDE IN THE BOOK?
AS I UNDERSTAND, PART OF THE
BOOK SAYS HE RECANTED AND SAID I
00:20:37HAD THIS PART WRONG.
>> HE REALLY MAINTAINS HIS
POSITION TO THIS DAY.
>> THERE WAS ANOTHER HISTORIAN
00:20:46YOU HAD MENTIONED.
>> YES.
>> HE WAS ANOTHER THAT CAME BACK
AND SAID I SHOULDN'T CALL DID
00:20:54SOMETHING ELSE.
I AM CURIOUS ABOUT THE -- I
SHOULD HAVE CALLED IT SOMETHING
ELSE.
00:21:00I'M CURIOUS ABOUT THE COVERAGE.
IS THERE ALWAYS PUSHING FORWARD?
>> I USE MANY UNIT HISTORIES IN
WRITING THIS.
00:21:12THERE IS A TENDENCY TO MAKE YOUR
UNIT LOOK GOOD.
I COULD SEE THAT.
THE OFFICIAL AIR FORCE HISTORY
00:21:21WAS WRITTEN BY A PUBLIC AFFAIRS
OFFICER, A TRAINED JOURNALIST,
AND I READ HIS OFFICIAL HISTORY
KNOWING WHAT I KNEW AND I SAID
00:21:31THIS GUY IS EITHER A TOTAL TOWED
SUCKING UP TO HIS GENERAL, WHERE
HE IS AN HONEST MAN.
HE LEFT HIS WORKING NOTES AT
00:21:39MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE TYPE I
PULLED UP AND SAID HE WAS AN
HONEST MAN.
-- BASE.
00:21:47I PULL THEM OUT AND SAID HE WAS
AN HONEST MAN.
I WAS ABLE TO SOLVE A NUMBER OF
PROBLEMS.
00:21:54>> WHY DID HE NOT INCLUDE IT?
>> SOME OF THE STUFF HE DID NOT
INCLUDE MADE HIS GENERALS AND
COLONELS LOOK LIKE IDIOTS, NOT
00:22:03TO PUT TOO FINE OF EIGHT.
ON THAT.
>> IF SO, YOU WERE WILLING TO
SAY HE WAS AN HONEST PERSON BUT
00:22:13YOU FALL OF THE NOTES.
DID YOU HAVE THAT EXPERIENCE --
BUT YOU FOLLOW THE NOTES.
DID YOU HAVE THAT EXPERIENCE?
00:22:22>> I ABANDON VARIOUS
BUREAUCRACIES ALL MY LIFE -- I
HAVE BEEN IN VARIOUS
BUREAUCRACIES ALL MY LIFE.
00:22:31I KNEW NEWS COVERAGE WAS NOT
ALWAYS CORRECT.
I KNEW FROM DOING MILITARY
RECORDS MYSELF THAT SOMETIMES
00:22:37THE STUFF WE SENT IN WAS
ACCURATE, AND SOMETIMES IT WAS
NOT.
I KNEW ENOUGH FROM WHAT I READ
00:22:45THAT A PERSONAL ACCOUNT
SOMETIMES CAN DIFFER.
THE APPROACH I TOOK WAS TO
TRIANGULATE.
00:22:54I DID NOT ACCEPT OR REJECT
ANYTHING AT FACE VALUE.
I WOULD TRY TO TRIANGULATE
BETWEEN THE NEWS RECORDS.
00:23:02I CAN GET SEE THE COVERAGE.
-- TELEVISION COVERAGE.
I COULD TRIANGULATE.
OUT OF THAT, AND 95% OF THE TIME
00:23:14I WAS ABLE TO COME UP WITH
SOMETHING CLOSE TO THE TRUTH.
IF I TOOK ANY ONE OF THOSE
SOURCES IT WOULD BE INCOMPLETE.
00:23:21I ALSO SAY THAT BY AND LARGE THE
PRESS COVERAGE WAS FAIR,
BALANCED, AND ACCURATE.
YES, COMPARE THAT WITH WHAT IT
00:23:33HAS TAKEN TO MEAN TODAY.
>> THERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS
ABOUT DRAWDOWNS IN AFGHANISTAN
AND IRAQ.
00:23:42I AM CURIOUS, YOU HAD MADE A
COMMENT THAT THERE WERE SOME
PEOPLE WHO HAD NOT BEEN ACCURATE
ABOUT A WAR.
00:23:52WHERE DO YOU SEE THAT PLAYING
OUT NOW?
DO YOU HAVE A SENSE, HAVE BEEN
WRITTEN THESE BOOKS THAT YOU
00:24:02APPROACH NEWS CONFERENCE -- NEWS
COVERAGE IN A DIFFERENT WAY?
WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN THE
VIETNAM WAR, AND WE CAN APPLY TO
00:24:15WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW, NOT ONLY
THE DRAWDOWN, BUT WHAT HAPPENS
ON COVERAGE THEY YOU SEE.
HOW YOU HANDLE THOSE TOPICS?
00:24:25>> U.S. ABOUT HOW WE TEACH.
I DO NOT TEACH HISTORY.
I TEACH BUDGETING AND FINANCE.
THE COMMON THREAD I WOULD ARE
00:24:36YOU IS I TRY TO TEACH MY
STUDENTS TO THINK INDEPENDENTLY.
DO NOT BE A TOTAL CYNIC AND
REJECT EVERYTHING OR A
00:24:44CONSPIRACY THEORIST, THAT IS
JUST AS BAD, BUT DO NOT TAKE AT
FACE VALUE EVERYTHING
POLITICIANS SAY.
00:24:51MAKE YOUR OWN JUDGMENT.
USUALLY OUR SOCIETY -- WE ARE IN
A DIFFICULT.
RIGHT NOW, BUT BY AND LARGE THE
00:25:01TRUTH WILL FIND ITS WAY.
TICKS AND INTELLIGENT, COMMITTED
CITIZENRY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE --
IT TAKES AN INTELLIGENT,
00:25:11COMMITTED CITIZENRY TO TAKE
ADVANTAGE.
>> WHAT IS THE LESSON?
>> MUCH THE SAME THAT BILL SAID.
00:25:20DO NOT TAKE ANY ONE SINGLE
SOURCE AT FACE VALUE.
LOOK AT THE SOURCE WITHIN THE
EYE TOWARD THE BIAS IT MIGHT
00:25:29HAVE.
SIT BACK, LOOK AT IT IN
PERSPECTIVE, AND DRAW YOUR OWN
CONCLUSIONS.
00:25:35>> OK.
>> JOE BRINGS A NUMBER OF
DIFFERENT VETERANS TO CAUSE US
TO TALK.
00:25:42I HAVE HEARD SOME OF THEM.
ONE OF THE THINGS I TELL
STUDENTS WHEN I START IS WHAT
HIGH AND SELLING THEM IS MY
00:25:49EXPERIENCE TO THE BEST OF MY --
IT IS BUT I AM TELLING THEM IS
MY EXPERIENCE TO THE BEST OF MY
RECOLLECTION.
00:25:56EVERYONE THAT FOG IN THAT WAR
WHEN THREE DIFFERENT TIMES AND A
DIFFERENT PLACE -- THAT WAR --
EVERYONE THAT WENT THROUGH THAT
00:26:05WAR HAD GONE THROUGH A DIFFERENT
TIME IN A DIFFERENT PLACE.
>> HAS THERE BEEN REACTION FROM
READERS WHO ARGUE WITH YOU OVER
00:26:18THE VERACITY OF IT, THE
ACCURACY, OR SEVEN I KNOW THIS
WAS HERE BUT THIS WAS NOT THE
WAY IT WAS >> -- OR SEND I KNOW
00:26:25THIS WAS HERE, BUT THIS IS NOT
THE WAY IT WAS?
>> I HAD AN INTELLIGENCE OFFICER
WHO I HAD SAID WAS NOT FULLY
00:26:35FORTHCOMING IN GIVING
INTELLIGENCE HE HAD TO THE
PEOPLE HE NEEDED AND I GOT A
LETTER FROM HIM AND HE EXPLAINED
00:26:43THE CIRCUMSTANCES.
IN THE REVISED EDITION, I WILL
PUT THAT IN THERE.
THE MOST POSITIVE REACTION I
00:26:54HAVE HAD IS FROM MARINES ON THE
ISLAND TO WERE INTENSELY
INTERESTED IN THE OPERATION
LARGELY BECAUSE THREE MARINES
00:27:01WERE LEFT BEHIND.
THEY HAD FORMED AN ORGANIZATION
CALLED THE BEACH CLUB.
THERE IS IRONY THERE.
00:27:09THEY ARE ACTIVELY TRYING TO
DETERMINE WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE
THREE MARINES.
THEY USED ME AS A SOURCE SAID
00:27:17WILL MEAN TO THEIR GROUP.
I TRY TO HELP THEM WITH MY
ANALYTICAL SKILLS IN HISTORY.
>> FOR YOU?
00:27:24>> I GUESS ONE OF THE THRESHOLD
LEVEL THINGS I HOPE TO
ACCOMPLISH OUT OF THE BOOK WAS
THE REACTION I GOT FROM THE
00:27:32VETERANS I INTERVIEWED.
THAT WAS ANOTHER EMOTIONAL
CONNECTION.
AFTER YOU START INTERVIEWING
00:27:37PEOPLE AND HEAR THEIR STORIES,
YOU ARE CONNECTED WITH THEM.
THEY FEEL I HAVE LAID ASIDE IN A
FAIR WAY.
00:27:44I HAVE DONE REACTION THAT HAS
SAID THAT.
THE MOST COMMON IS WE ARE GLAD
SOMEONE FINALLY TOLD THE STORY.
00:27:52THE SECOND IS WE DID NOT REALIZE
ALL OF THAT STUFF WAS GOING ON.
NOBODY TOLD US.
THERE ARE REALLY MULTIPLE
00:28:00LAYERS.
WHEN YOU ARE IN THE TRENCHES,
YOU ARE KEEPING YOUR HEAD DOWN
AND THERE IS A BIGGER PICTURE
00:28:07OUT THERE.
>> THE PARALLELS MY SPIRITS VERY
CLOSELY.
>> AND I WANT TO THINK BOTH OF
00:28:13YOU BOTH OF -- BOTH OF YOU.
THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE ON
"WRITERS TALK."
FROM THE CENTER FOR TEACHING AND
00:28:26WRITING, KEEP WRITING.
Note : Transcripts are compiled from uncorrected captions