Press: War and Remembrance

McNamara breaks 16 years of silence on Viet Nam

At a White House ceremony in February 1968 to bid him farewell as Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, exhausted and anguished over the Viet Nam War, became so choked up that he could not speak. For the next 16 years McNamara remained speechless about that agonizing conflict, refusing to make any public statements. Last week, summoned to testify in General William Westmoreland's $120 million libel suit against CBS, McNamara finally broke his long silence. Even then, as he began to recall the controversies of the time, his raspy voice cracked once again, his...

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