NOT since North Viet Nam first agreed to sit down at the negotiating table with the U.S. had prospects seemed so good for a major move toward peace. There was no single, compelling piece of evidence that Hanoi was about to make important concessions in return for complete suspension by the U.S. of its bombing attacks on North Viet Nam. But the hopeful hints and tantalizing suggestions continued to pile up. For that reason, an air of suspense enveloped the Cabinet Room of the White House last week as Lyndon Johnson began his press conference. He had scheduled it well in...

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