Nation: THE GUNS OF AUGUST 4

WHAT really happened in the Tonkin Gulf during the early days of August 1964 is a question that historians may ponder for decades. All the details will probably never be established. For present-day Americans, the knowable facts are of more than academic interest, since the events of those days set off a chain reaction, beginning with the Tonkin Gulf Resolution in Congress, which has sent more than a million U.S. troops to battle in South Viet Nam. The following account is based on the Defense Department's official report—much of which was secret until last week—and an exhaustive...

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