Chapter 2
The History of Tyrants - A Lesson From the Past

History is replete with examples of tyrants, dictatorships and even apparently accountable governments using the Hegelian Dialectic discussed in the introduction. None of them can resist killing innocent people to further a political agenda. In this context, ruling authorities, in order to ruthlessly centralize power into their own hands have used a tactic conventionally ascribed to terrorists.



Nero Fiddled While Rome Burned

Nero Claudius Caesar was, by far, one of the most infamous Roman emperors ever. His rule of Rome lasted from AD 54 to 68. A little known fact is that Nero actually began his reign as a fairly popular leader, banning capital punishment, reducing taxes, and letting slaves bring lawsuits against their masters.
However, after around five years, Nero’s temperament fell apart. His senior advisors began to die and his overbearing ego came to the fore. Absolute power began to corrupt absolutely.


Even before Rome burned, Nero passed a series of treason laws, which put anyone to death who was considered a threat. This enabled him to eliminate his political rivals and even his own wife and mother. Nero needed a pretext to justify turning the new laws against the civilian population and specifically the Christians who, although still relatively unpopular, were rising in prominence. The Christians lambasted the empire for its decadent practices and Pagan worship.

On the night of July 18, 64 AD, a fire started that would, after a week, turn 70% of Rome to ash. Historians differ as to whether or not Nero was actually in Rome when the disaster began. Certainly, Nero returned to his palace as the fire roared at its peak. He composed poetry and sang as his people burned to death. This is where the saying ‘Nero fiddled while Rome burned’ came from.

While Nero fiddled, he had ordered his guards to patrol the streets making sure efforts to extinguish the blaze were thwarted. Attempts to do so were prevented by Nero’s menacing gangs. Torches were openly thrown in to fan the flames, by men crying that they acted under orders.

These actions caused a rumor to circulate the city, namely that Nero himself had started the blaze. Whether he had given the order to start it or simply let it burn is debatable but the consequences are not. Nero immediately blamed the Christians for setting the fire. His only evidence was that Christians had identified other Christians as the perpetrators. This was after they were brutally tortured to make such a confession of course. Since the fires began in the poor area of the city, it isn’t logical to suspect the Christians. They lived in those poor areas. If they wanted to make a statement why would they burn down their own homes and not Nero’s palace?

Nero was the only person who stood to gain from setting the city ablaze. He hated the disjointed layout of the city and wanted to rebuild it in his own image. As soon as the fires were put out, work began on a total redesign of the city along with several new palaces in Nero’s honor. Meanwhile, the Christian scapegoats were ripped limb from limb by the lions in the circus and used as human torches. Nero had achieved two aims by burning Rome or at least allowing it to burn. He had completely renovated the city and eliminated an underground threat to both his authority and his ego. Nero’s short-term future was secured. However, his act of tyranny brought about divine retribution. The horrific treatment of the Christians turned them into martyrs, such as Peter and Paul.


The people of Rome began to sympathize with their suffering and Nero’s empire self-destructed after his suicide in AD 68.



Diocletian’s Unity in the Empire

The Roman Emperor Diocletian came to power in 284 AD. He was an army general with a repressive disdain of his subjects. Diocletian ran his government as a general runs an army, giving orders and expecting them to be carried out. He believed that only severe restrictions on personal freedoms could bring order to the empire. By 301 AD, after the conclusion of conflicts with the Germans and the Sassanids, Diocletian needed a new enemy to justify his tyrannical form of government.


At the same time, the Emperor declared the economy to be in crisis and implemented astronomical taxation increases. Amongst the people there surfaced a gradual unrest towards Diocletian’s economic policy. The Emperor needed a new enemy to regain the support of his pseudo-slaves.

After the earlier successful persecution of the Manichaeans, Diocletian slowly turned his head in the direction of the Christians, his thumb pointing down. This came despite the fact that he had largely ignored them for the past fifteen years. Across the empire, Christians made up around ten percent of the population, their number having doubled in about fifty years. Two kings had been converted: the king of Osroene in northeastern Mesopotamia and the king of Armenia. Christians were serving in Rome’s armies, and they were working as civil servants in local government or in lowly positions on the imperial staff. Diocletian could see his scapegoat.

I n the autumn of 302 AD Diocletian visited Antioch in Syria for an official engagement. Prior to this of course, there had to take place the customary Pagan sacrifice. However, this time there was a problem. As the bloodletting ritual began, so did the vocal denouncements of the on-looking Christians. Many made cross signs to ward off the evil influence of the sacrifice. Prominent amongst these brave dissenters was a Christian named Romanus.


Diocletian fumed,

In the first, while Diocletian was sacrificing in public, the chief interpreter of the victims’ organs reported that he could not read the future in them because of the hostile influence of Christians standing around. Diocletian burst into a rage, insisting that all in his court should offer sacrifice, and sent out orders to his army to follow suit.1

1 Ramsey McMullen – Constantine – page 24 – Dial Press - 1969


This provided Diocletian with the perfect opportunity to launch his persecution. Romanus had his tongue cut off and languished in agony for over a year after in jail. Meanwhile, the Emperor demanded the Christians sacrifice to the gods of the state or face execution. Many refused and further retreated underground in the hope of avoiding the manic dictates of this mad general.


Diocletian’s vice-emperor, Galerius, didn’t have a hard time in persuading him that if a Palace were just to burn down, Diocletian could really accelerate his crusade against the Christians. Just by coincidence, twice within sixteen days toward the end of February, Diocletian’s palace in Nicomedia burned. The Christians were immediately blamed.


FIG 2.1

[CAPTION: The Emperor Diocletian needed a crisis to put the purge of the Christians into overdrive.

This was accomplished when he had his guards set fire to his own palace in Nicomedia on two different occasions at the end of February 303 AD.]


A monumental crackdown then occurred as Diocletian issued four edicts against the Christians. Christian assemblies were forbidden. Bibles were confiscated and burned, and churches were destroyed. Christians were torn limb from limb in the arena, the animals goaded on by a mindless population who had accepted at face value the guilt of the Christians. Others were imprisoned and offered release if they appeased the Emperor’s sick Pagan blood lust and made one sacrifice. The majority refused, yet Diocletian wanted disunity within the Christian ranks and so had some marked down as having made a sacrifice, even though they didn’t.


The purges slowly and intermittently dragged on into the year 305, but by now the Christians had become too numerous across the empire to be wiped out. The despot Diocletian retired through illness in 305 AD. The vice-emperor in the east, Galerius, began a joint rule of the empire with the vice-emperor in Rome and the west: Constantius. Constantius died in battle in 306 AD and his son, Constantine, succeeded him. The thousands of Christians butchered by Diocletian in the purge had not died in vain. Constantine was to change the world by becoming the first Christian emperor.



Balance of Power – Hitler and the Reichstag

Adolf Hitler knew that he could never overthrow the existing German Republic and name himself Fuhrer without the aid of a carefully stage managed crisis. In early 1933 the German Weimar Republic was awash with different parties lobbying for control. Although the Nazi’s had the majority, this was not enough to give Hitler the unchallenged and unaccountable office he craved. Furthermore, the Nazi’s were losing momentum in the months preceding the election, which was set for March 1933.

When Herman Goering took control of the Prussian state police, he replaced officers loyal to the Republic with officers loyal only to Hitler. These SA and SS were trained to despise so-called enemies of the state and after raiding Communist headquarters in Berlin they acquired a full roster of Communist Party members. The round up list was already in place. Hitler had erected the police state he would later put to use in anticipation of the imminent burning of the Reichstag.

I n February of 1933, Herman Goering, Joseph Goebbels and Hitler finalized a plan to cause chaos by burning the Reichstag parliament building and then blaming it on their political adversaries, the Communists. The three had obviously studied the actions of Nero hundreds of years before. In the week preceding February 27, a mentally retarded Dutchman named Marinus van der Lubbe wandered around Berlin attempting to set fire to government buildings. The state police, now under Hitler’s control, refused to arrest him.

After stalking the area all day, on the night of February 27, van der Lubbe somehow managed to break in the guarded Reichstag. He removed his shirt and set it on fire, vainly attempting to spread the relatively confined blaze to a wider area within the building. He received a large dose of help when Hitler’s storm troopers, led by SA leader Karl Ernst, used an underground passageway that connected Goering’s cellar with the cellar in the Reichstag. They entered the building and scattered gasoline and incendiaries to feed the flames. Once they had suitably increased the blaze they escaped back through the tunnel.

Hitler and Goebbels, his propaganda minister, immediately rushed to the scene of the fire and screamed at German news reporters that the Communists were to blame. Hitler stated, “You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in German history... This fire is the beginning,” and from this moment onwards the official story of the ‘Communist plot’ was repeated ad infinitum across the world’s media. Hitler called for the activation of the round-up plans he had arranged before the burning, “The German people have been soft too long.


Every Communist official must be shot. All Communist deputies must be hanged this very night. All friends of the Communists must be locked up. And that goes for the Social Democrats and the Reichsbanner as well!”2


2 ‘The Reichstag Burns’ – The History Place – 1996 -


The very next day, Hitler was able to pass an emergency decree, Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which stated, Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.3


3 ‘The Decrees of 1933’ -


As the Communists and other ‘enemies of the state’ were arrested and tortured, Hitler turned his attention to the March 5th elections. Despite massive waves of propaganda, the Nazis only achieved 44 per cent of the total vote.


Hitler needed a two-thirds majority in order to legally dismantle the Republic and install himself as Fuhrer.


FIG 2.2

[CAPTION: The Reichstag burns, Hitler takes control.]

After the elections, Hitler used his emergency decree, along with the SS and SA, to raid the offices of local government and throw out anyone unsympathetic to the Nazi regime, replacing them with those loyal only to him. This is how he would subsequently achieve the majority he needed to become dictator. In the meantime, Hitler pressured President Hindenburg to sign more draconian edicts, making it an offence to criticize the Nazis and setting up military tribunals where the defense is afforded no jury or legal counsel. These measures steamrolled many Reichstag members into intimidation and ensured their support through fear.


On March 23 the newly elected Reichstag met in the Kroll Opera House in Berlin and passed Hitler’s Enabling Act. This allowed Hitler to basically abolish the German constitution and proclaim himself legal dictator. Hitler’s carefully managed brutal police state tactics had ensured more than two thirds were frightened enough to pass the act. The Nazis had the majority they needed and could now build the dreaded Third Reich. This dictatorship would never have occurred if Hitler hadn’t eliminated his enemies and the German Republic by burning the Reichstag in February 1933.



Treason at Pearl Harbor

On the Sunday morning of December 7 1941, against the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii, Japanese Adm. Chuichi Nagumo’s Operation Z carrier task force launched its attack that destroyed nearly 200 American aircraft, sank five battleships, severely damaged three cruisers, three destroyers and three auxiliaries, and killed 2,476 U.S. servicemen and civilians.


In 1941 the U.S. believed that war with Japan was inevitable and that the United States should provoke it at a time that suited its own interests. Analysts recommended an eight-point plan, known as the McCollum Memo, designed to provoke a Japanese attack. The plan included military provocations and a recommendation to completely embargo all trade with Japan in collaboration with a similar embargo by the British Empire.

The US cited Japan’s continued wars on the Asian mainland as the reason for placing embargoes (mainly oil) on them. The real reason behind such measures was that America knew this would force Japan into an attempted seizure of oil and mineral riches in Indonesia. In order to do this, the Japanese would have to nullify the threat of the American fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor. In order to enrage the American public into supporting the war effort that the American government sought to engage in, President Franklin Roosevelt needed to ensure that Japan’s first strike seemed as dramatic, surprising and bloody as possible.


As a consequence, Roosevelt kept many in the dark as to what his administration was hatching. Even some of his own commanders in Hawaii never knew what was coming, that way Pearl Harbor would be written into the history books as one of the most shocking and unprovoked acts of war. As the world went about its unwitting business, the propaganda was being carefully prepared for the events that were about to take place. Soon enough, the psychological war would also kick into operation on American soil, and the mindset of the American public forever altered.

To emphasize how desperate the Roosevelt administration were to enter the second world war, the Scotsman reported that hundreds of former prisoners of war in the Philippines were deliberately blocked from leaving the country by order of the then American President, so their capture by the Japanese could be used as propaganda in the U.S. to stoke war fever. A former prisoner has uncovered papers in the US National Archive that she claims prove the government restricted the travel of 7,000 American citizens from the Philippines, while at the same time encouraging evacuation of Americans from other potential Japanese targets in China and south-east Asia.

A federal lawsuit filed yesterday in Washington, DC, alleges that the government at first wanted to keep Americans in the Philippines to discourage Japanese aggression, but later used them as a political tool.

A group of 500 former prisoners claim the plan was devised by the US wartime leader, Franklin D Roosevelt, with the approval of Winston Churchill, Britain’s Prime Minister, to cause outrage among American citizens unwilling to back a war on Japan.

Americans were denied passport and travel documents to let them flee. They were later captured by the Japanese and held in notorious camps under appalling conditions. Marcia Fee Achenbach, one of those captured, was four when her camp was liberated by US soldiers in 1944. She discovered the papers while doing research in the National Archive. Among the evidence uncovered was a telegram that Francis Sayre, the high commissioner of the Philippines, had sent to the US state department urging an evacuation plan.


The state department’s confidential reply read:

“Visualise the remaining of Americans generally in the Philippines in an emergency, and plan accordingly.”

Other evidence includes a letter from one of the commissioner’s secretaries indicating that officials were not to issue passports. The secretary states that she wrote more than 5,000 letters rejecting passport applications during the build up to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.4


4 ‘US prisoners claim Roosevelt left them in Philippines deliberately’ – David Cox – The Scotsman – July 30 2002 -

De-classified documents show that the Pentagon had prior knowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor, indeed, that they provoked and instigated the “unprovoked” attack and did nothing to stop it. A July 22 1941 report by Admiral Richmond Turner read,

It is generally believed that shutting off the American supply of petroleum will lead promptly to the invasion of Netherland East Indies… it seems certain that she (Japan) would also include military action in the Philippine islands which would immediately involve us in a Pacific war.5

5 ‘The Possible Effects of an Embargo’ - The Director of the War Plans Division of the Navy Department (Turner) to the Chief of Naval Operations (Stark) - July 19 1941 – available at

Also, a Top Secret Army Board report of October 1944 clearly states that in the period leading up to Pearl Harbor, the US military received information regarding the intentions of the Japanese to declare war, including specific details of when the attack on Pearl Harbor would occur, In this period numerous pieces of information came to our State, War and Navy Departments in all of their top ranks indicating precisely the intentions of the Japanese including the probable exact hour and date of the attack.6


6 ‘Top Secret Report of Army Pearl Harbor Board’ – Memo To The Secretary of War – October 20 1944 – available at

On November 24th, 1941, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto sent a radio message to Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, Commander of the Pacific Striking Fleet, which read,

The task force, keeping its movement strictly secret and maintaining close guard against submarines and aircraft, shall advance into Hawaiian waters, and upon the very opening of hostilities shall attack the main force of the United States fleet in Hawaii and deal it a mortal blow.7

7 ‘The Bones of Station H’ -

This message was intercepted in Hawaii at a radio intercept station known as “Station H” overlooking Kaneohe Bay on windward Oahu. The information was passed on to Lieutenant Commander George Pease of the Office of Naval Intelligence on December 4 1941, three days before the attack. Now that the venue and immediacy of the attack were known, President Roosevelt ordered the older ships in the harbor to be lined up in tight rows and the aircraft to be arranged nose tip to nose tip. The newer ships and aircraft were removed from the scene.

Further evidence to debunk the fallacy that the attack was a surprise emerged in late August of 2002 when a 78ft two man Japanese midget submarine was found a few miles from Pearl Harbor. Researchers concluded that the vessel was sunk by the destroyer USS Ward just hours before the aerial bombardment by the Japanese.8


8 ‘US ‘fired first shot’ at Pearl Harbor’ – Rupert Cornwell – London Independent – August 30 2002 -


FIG 2.3]

[CAPTION: The Japanese submarine found at a depth of 1200 feet proves the Pearl Harbor attack was known about and provoked by the U.S. Navy.]

Why weren’t navy personnel warned that an attack was imminent unless the devastation and death that occurred on that day was needed as a pretext for America to enter world war two?



Operation Northwoods – Lies, Provocation and the Masterminding of Terror

It has been officially revealed via declassified government documents that the US military and government has covertly planned to perpetrate acts of terror upon innocent civilians in order to justify an engagement in conflict that would have, at the time, benefited the government’s wider geopolitical agenda. In 1962 at the height of the Cold War, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, under the chairmanship of General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, drew up plans to create and launch a war on Cuba based solely on a fabric of lies. These lies revolved around the murder of hundreds of Americans.


According to ABC News, In the early 1960s, America’s top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.9


9 ‘Friendly Fire’ – David Ruppe – ABC News – May 1 2001 -

Long hidden documents, uncovered in 2001 by former ABC News investigative reporter James Bamford, code-named OPERATION NORTHWOODS, put a haunting perspective behind the events of September 11.


The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) documents propose launching a secret and violent war of terrorism against their own country in order to condition the people of the USA into supporting an intended war against Cuba. These sickening plans called for innocent American civilians to be shot, for Cuban refugees to be blown up, for violent and continued acts of terrorism to be perpetrated in major American cities, for innocents to be framed for bombings, and for planes to be hijacked.


This would then be blamed on Fidel Castro and Cuba, thus inciting hatred for him and Communism, and instigating the public backing that the JCS needed as an excuse to launch the pre-planned war.


FIG 2.4

[CAPTION: ABC News reports on Operation Northwoods.]


The first instance of deception on the part of the JCS was to the new president, John F. Kennedy, telling him that America should press ahead with an invasion of Cuba that would trigger an internal uprising against Fidel Castro, thus ensuring his speedy downfall. This was a total lie. The CIA itself had reports that stated that the majority of the Cuban public looked upon Castro as a hero after he had ousted the excessive and repressive regime of Batista two years previously.


Those people were unaware of the future horrors Castro had planned for them but the point is that any uprising against Castro was very unlikely at this time. Indeed, Lemnitzer himself knew this to be the case and would later refer to the CIA Bay Of Pigs operation that followed as ‘The Cuban debacle’. Nevertheless, at the time Lemnitzer and the JCS submitted a positive recommendation for the operation, possibly knowing that the CIA led invasion would fail and that he could then push for a more active involvement in Cuba and around the world, for himself, the Pentagon and the JCS.

After the inevitably bungled Bay of Pigs operation, responsibility for dealing with Cuba was shifted from the CIA to the Pentagon, where the project would be known as OPERATION MONGOOSE. Under the guise of Lemnitzer and Air-Force One star General Edward G. Lansdale, the Pentagon saw its opportunity to further remove itself from civilian authority, particularly that of JFK who was seen by many generals as a ‘no win chief’ who did not understand military judgments. Military officials craved for the good old days of jurisdiction under the military mind of president Eisenhower, and many government elites were also this way inclined.

By February 1962 it was clear that an uprising in Cuba was highly unlikely. In addition, it was generally accepted that Castro had no desire to attack America or anything belonging to America. Lansdale had also been told to drop all anti-Castro efforts by Robert Kennedy, and the JCS saw their opportunities slipping away. There was only one option left for Lemnitzer and Lansdale, and that was NORTHWOODS.

The strategy of NORTHWOODS was outlined, US military intervention will result from a period of heightened US-Cuban tensions which place the United States in the position of suffering justifiable grievances. World opinion, and the United Nations forum should be favorably affected by developing the international image of the Cuban government as rash and irresponsible, and as an alarming and unpredictable threat to the peace of the Western Hemisphere.10

10 ‘Justification for US Military Intervention in Cuba’ – Joint Chiefs of Staff Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense – March 13 1962 – p5 – available at

It is clear that Lemnitzer and the JCS had gone over the edge. They admitted that the operation would mean a surge in both Cuban and American casualties,
but that they intended to go ahead with it anyway.


The Northwoods document goes into extensive detail about the proposed actions that the operation would involve,

(1) Start rumors (many). Use clandestine radio.
(2) Land friendly Cubans in uniform “over the fence” to stage attack on US base.
(3) Capture Cuban (friendly) saboteurs inside the base.
(4) Start riots near the base main gate (friendly Cubans)
(5) Blow up ammunition inside the base; start fires.
(6) Burn aircraft on air base (sabotage)
(7) Lob mortar shells from outside of base into base. Some damage to installations.
(8) Capture assault teams approaching from the sea or vicinity of Guantanamo City.
(9) Capture militia group which storms the base
(10) Sabotage ship in harbor; large fires - - naphthalene
(11) Sink ship near harbor entrance. Conduct funerals for mock victims.11

11 Ibid p10-11


The later sections of the report begin to outline the plots of terror that the U.S. Government would covertly instigate upon innocent people. The first suggestion was to re-create an incident of 1898 when a mysterious explosion aboard the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor killed 266 US soldiers and sparked the Spanish-American war. The horrific explosion influenced more than a million volunteers for duty and is now widely considered to have been an act of treason where the U.S. attacked itself to create an enemy and a pretext.


The Northwoods document continues,

A Remember the Maine incident could be arranged in several forms:


a. We could blow up a ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba.
b. We could blow up a drone (unmanned vessel) anywhere in the Cuban waters…The presence of Cuban planes or ships merely investigating the intent of the vessel could be fairly compelling evidence that the ship was taken under attack…Casualty lists in the newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation…We could develop a communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami areas, in other Florida cities and even in Washington…the terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boat load of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States…12

12 Ibid p11


The JCS then go on to discuss how they could actually shoot down a mock chartered civil aircraft and blame Cuba,

Hijacking attempts against civil air and surface craft should appear to continue as harassing measures condoned by the government of Cuba…It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil air liner en-route from the US to Jamaica, Guatemala, Venezuela or Panama. The destination would be chosen only to cause the flight plan route to cross Cuba. The passengers could be a group of college students off on a holiday, or any group of persons with a common interest to support-chartering a non-scheduled flight…13

The plan was to replace said aircraft with an identical drone, flown by remote control, and land the original plane at an air force base where passengers, boarded under prepared aliases, would be evacuated. The drone would then fly the route and when over Cuba, emit a distress signal before being destroyed by radio signal.

A further plan concerning a plane involved a USAF craft appearing to be shot down by Cuban MIGs in an ‘unprovoked attack’ over international waters. The pilot would broadcast that he was under attack and then cease all transmission. He would then fly back to a base where the plane would be given a new tail number and the pilot would resume his real identity. Then a US submarine would disperse some destroyed plane parts in the water. Thus the result is a missing plane, pilot and wreckage in international waters after reports of an attack by MIG aircraft.

I would emphasize that before these documents became well known, government officials denied their very existence, even though they had been unclassified and released by the National Security Archive. Anyone with Internet access can read them and yet Robert S. McNamara, Kennedy’s defense secretary states,

“I never heard of it. I can’t believe the chiefs were talking about or engaged in what I would call CIA-type operations.”14

13 Ibid p13
14 ‘New book on NSA sheds light on secrets’ – Scott Shane and Tom Bowman – Baltimore Sun – April 24 2001 -


As a caveat, if Northwoods had the hallmark of the CIA then what has that particular agency carried out that we are not aware of?

Operation Northwoods reminds us, as if it were needed, that governments owe no allegiance to the people that elect them. The cry that ‘they’d never do that’ can be dismissed with hard evidence – government documents. The Joint Chiefs would have carried out the plan if Kennedy hadn’t blocked it.


This outright rejection was one of the reasons behind Kennedy’s assassination little over a year later.



The Gulf of Tonkin – Organized Deception

The Vietnam War killed one million Vietnamese and 58,000 Americans. It was launched after two incidents in August 1964, the first of which was provoked and the second never happened. With careful avoidance of the facts, then president Lyndon Baines Johnson was able to ram through the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, denouncing those who raised suspicious voices as anti-American, and receiving a validation for war.


Section two of the resolution stated,

The United States regards as vital to its national interest and to world peace the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia. Consonant with the Constitution of the United States and the Charter of the United Nations and in accordance with its obligations under the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, the United States is, therefore, prepared, as the President determines, to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Treaty requesting assistance in defense of its freedom.15

On August 2, North Vietnamese forces in Russian-made Swatow gunboats had attacked the USS Maddox, a destroyer conducting ‘reconnaissance’ in the Gulf of Tonkin. The ship was actually attacked because it was part of a joint CIA-South Vietnamese covert intelligence operation called ‘Operation Plan 34ª.’ The CIA-South Vietnamese covert force conducted airborne, maritime and overland agent-insertion operations. South Vietnamese covert operatives were to gather intelligence, recruit support, establish bases of resistance and carry out psychological operations behind enemy lines.


The maritime operation began as an infiltration operation. But beginning in June 1962, with the loss of the vessel Nautelas II and four commandos, it evolved into hit-and-run attacks against North Vietnamese shore and island installations by South Vietnamese and foreign mercenary crews on high-speed patrol boats. 16 Far from being an ‘unprovoked attack’ as President Lyndon Johnson had stated, the attack was an expected retaliation as a result of aggressive CIA-South Vietnamese maneuvers. Johnson himself acknowledged Operation Plan 34ª in recently released White House tape recordings,

“There have been some covert operations in that (Tonkin Gulf) area that we have been carrying on - blowing up some bridges and things of that kind, roads and so forth. So I imagine (the North Vietnamese) wanted to put a stop to it.” 17

15 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution - Public Law 88-408; 78 Stat. 384 – August 7 1964 -
16 ‘New Light on Gulf of Tonkin’ - Captain Ronnie E. Ford, U.S. Army – July 28 1997 –
17 ‘Tonkin incident might not have occurred’ – Bob Richter – San Antonio Express News – August 3 2002 -


The second incident occurred two days later on August 4. The USS Maddox and the USS C. Turner Joy reported a second attack, this one occurring within 17 hours of 34-Alpha raids on North Vietnamese facilities at Cap Vinh Son and Cua Ron. Earlier that day the National Security Agency had warned that an attack on the Maddox appeared imminent. The early reports stated that four unidentified vessels had approached the Maddox at high speed and launched 20 torpedo missiles. The U.S. responded by firing 249 5-inch shells, 123 3-inch shells and four or five depth charges.

Around two hours later, Adm. U.S. Grant “Oley” Sharp, commander of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet, informed Air Force Lt. Gen. David Burchinal of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “many of the reported contacts and torpedoes fired appear doubtful,” and blamed the erroneous reports on “overeager sonar men” and “freak weather effects on radar.” James Stockdale, a navy aviator, squadron commander and future vice-presidential candidate was scrambled to survey and protect the US vessels as the ‘attack’ unfolded.


In his 1984 book he stated,

“I had the best seat in the house to watch that event, and our destroyers were just shooting at phantom targets - there were no PT boats there. There was nothing but black water and American firepower.” 18

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson stated,

“For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there.”19

If this was all the President knew, and numerous intelligence cables throughout the day indicated that no attack had taken place, why on the evening of August 4 did he declare,

“The initial attack on the destroyer Maddox, on August 2, was repeated today by a number of hostile vessels attacking two U.S. destroyers with torpedoes. The destroyers and supporting aircraft acted at once on the orders I gave after the initial act of aggression. We believe at least two of the attacking boats were sunk. There were no U.S. losses.”20

18 Ibid
19 ‘30-Year Anniversary: Tonkin Gulf Lie Launched Vietnam War’ – Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon – Media Beat – July 27 1994 -
20 Transcript of LBJ speech broadcast across America on the night of August 4 1964 -


There were no U.S. losses because no U.S. ships were under attack. The whole incident was staged. Some argue that commanders did initially believe they had been attacked. If this is so then why, nine hours after it had been established that no attack took place, did the President sound the war cry to millions of American people? The plan to launch a war on a fabric of lies had clearly been in place for many weeks or months. This was the reward after the Gulf of Tonkin resolution passed almost unanimously just days after the ‘attacks’. Another manufactured crisis set the scene for the slaughter of millions of unwitting troops on both sides of the subsequent conflict.

The history of tyranny is the history of ruthless individuals and ruling elites, who launch wars against both countries and populations by creating acceptable justification. This excuse is only made possible because those seemingly ‘under attack’ have in fact attacked themselves and identified a useful scapegoat. It is important to understand that while the real story behind these events was confined to being regarded as rumor at the time in some instances, subsequent historical record and government documents confirm all of the details.

Be it fortunate or unfortunate, we will not have to wait 40 years to discover that our own governments were perpetrating terror against us today, the evidence is in front of us right now.

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