Skip to main content

tv   History Bookshelf Mitchell Lerner The Pueblo Incident  CSPAN  February 3, 2018 4:00pm-5:01pm EST

4:00 pm
intelligence ship the uss pueblo. history bookshelf, mitchell theks about his book " pueblo incident." he described the ship's mission and how the crew was tortured for days. there was intelligence loss and this was recorded in san diego in 2002. it is about 55 minutes. mitchell: welcome to the veterans memorial center in balboa park. it is my great pleasure to introduce to you professor mitch lerner. he is a pulitzer prize nominee and a fellow at the university of virginia posner miller center for public affairs.
4:01 pm
he will be talking to you about his book and about some of the that il in his book think you find most interesting and compelling. this tells the story of the elf waited uss pueblo. few people know any greater detail than an outline. significanta achievement for a number of reasons. first, it goes right to the heart of the events and their aftermath from the point of view of those who have experienced it. second, it casts thegovernment pursues some of its goals during the cold war. that is not a pretty story as we review today. the book expresses the quiet heroism of the pueblos crew and is captain.
4:02 pm
this provides recognition for these men that is far too long overdue. finally, the story told in professor lerner possible book as a variance for san diego and is nearly 300,000 veterans. they were imported here and many of the crew including the commander still live in san diego county. it is a compelling read, you will be glad you took the time to look at it carefully and without another word for me, please welcome professor mitch lerner. [applause] : thank you.rner i want to single out a few people to think at. thank you for this evening and the service that you do for the
4:03 pm
san diego community. i want to offer thanks to professor schrag. modest to mention that he put together another symposium. if you are here, i think you'll find it interesting as well. they are hosting a conference discussing some of the issues facing prisoners of war both at large across the nation as well as in san diego. it is a wonderful lineup and i would encourage all of you who can to attend. tonight, we are here to look at one particular group of pows. those are the men of the uss pueblo. talk for a fewst minutes, go through a few things before we turn it over to questions and i would like to begin with 10 things you may not know about uss pueblo.
4:04 pm
most of you will not find his thing surprising but for those of you who are unfamiliar with the story for those of you watching on c-span you may find it shocking -- you may find some of it shocking. this is a quick discussion of the uss pueblo. 10 things you may not know about the uss pueblo. you may not know what happened. that you findent shocking. despite having occurred less than 35 years ago and involved in the lives of 33 american sailors and almost involving the net estate in another war, they are long forgotten. this is a big memory when most americans think of it at all generally associated with the vietnam war but without any specific recollection or thought. the details on even the most basic level have sometimes been forgotten.
4:05 pm
let me refresh the memories were some of you. pueblo had originally been built in 1944 as a general-purpose supply ship for the united states army. with some success until a retired in 1954. in 1966 that ship was transferred to the navy and converted to a top-secret intelligence collections ship. there was a top-secret program run by the navy and the security agency that turned formal cargo -- former cargo carriers into intelligence vessels by adding an extra room that would carry with it various forms of machinery to intercept intelligence. these ships would be dispatched without muchlently support in the hubs of intercepting communication and other signals, radio signals,
4:06 pm
sonar, radar that sort of thing. was based on a program originated by the soviet the smallh fended off combat vessels of the united states for years, especially following the cuban missile crisis. in 1965, one of the soviet ships -- the barometer actually intruded on american territory. when they were confronted they loudly blamed the united states coast guard. at the same time, another soviet ship intruded into american waters and loudly announced today presents with an unusual problem. this was a problem solved when local authorities helicoptered a doctor onboard to assist with the delivery of a baby. the united states began running similar operations in the 1950's. most of which were conducted by destroyers. click beetle did not start until
4:07 pm
1965. they started is with varying degrees of success. pueblo. pueblo -- uss would not be so lucky. for japan on her first mission. her assignment was to operate off the coast of north korea, keeping an eye on corset is in the region as well as keeping one eye open for the soviet ships that sometimes operated in the area. after two relatively quiet and uneventful week's they took up a position outside of the harbor. the next day we were surrounded by just reinforces. the commander attempted to escape by his ship was no match not in terms of speed, maneuverability or weaponry. in the end, north korean ships attacked.
4:08 pm
82 surviving crewmen would spend the next 11 months in north rim prison camps, getting their release just a few days before christmas. since then has been largely forgotten. number nine, you may not know that the ship should never have left port. johnson would stay after the fact -- say after the fact that the u.s. pueblo was in a satisfactory state of readiness. the reality was quite different and unknown -- no level could this should be considered ready for combat. let's look at a few pictures. this light gives you one of the official many photographs of the uss pueblo. it gives you the idea of one of the most obvious programs. you can see something wrong with this picture. the ship is going backwards. it is going backwards because it can't go forward.
4:09 pm
the steering engine is broken as it so often was on the uss pueblo. it is probably the most obvious problem area. the first sea trial for the uss pueblo, the steering engines failed leaving the ship floundering in the sea until tugboats could rescue it. on his second trial after the navy insisted that the situation had been fixed, the steering engine went out again. nothing could be done sort of a complete overhaul, something they were unable to pay for. at the board of inspection and survey test, the steering engine unbelievably failed 180 times in three days of testing. that is one of nearly 462 makeate deficiencies that
4:10 pm
up tests revealed. it was similar with the communication system for internal communications, the pueblo my desk relied on the into calm system. it didn't connect many of the new additions to the ship. the top-secret special -- one of department the most item -- vital areas of the ship wasn't connected to the main system. the best way for the bridge to indicate was through a phone that was in a hallway, but actually in the room but in a hallway behind a door that the navy required because -- cap shut and triple locked at all times. furthermore, the general alarm system was through the same system. crisis, butre was a mitigation system will really be needed and it was possible to communicate after the ringing of the alarm system going over the phone.
4:11 pm
in addition, there were problems with external communications and theoretically the uss pueblo carried the latest inch mitigation technology. they carried morse code machines and even a special teletype line reserved just for that to communicate with the naval station in japan. the reality was quite different. because of the ship's limited power, signals were routinely drowned out by more powerful transmitters. frequencies were hard to calibrate and the setting was so perfect that it was virtually impossible to calibrate them on a tiny ship poorly built and roving at sea. even when they weren't working, these communications devices interfere with the top-secret medication collections scenery. in the end, they could communicate but it was difficult, slow, inefficient and unreliable.
4:12 pm
the self-destruct system was just as bad. despite a lot of intelligence information, it had no self-destruct system which was standard. nor did have the capability to destroy a classified machinery or papers. the ship left port with an estimated 450 pounds of classified materials. it relied on 22 weighted bags for the destruction. the guys were of little use during an attack because they would have to be held and then flung overboard in the exposed main deck. the ship also carried two small paper shredding machines each of which could shred about three or four pages per minute. as well as a small incinerator that they had purchased by themselves with money the navy had allocated for crew comfort since the navy refused to pay on its own. i'm sorry that i let the cat out of the bag. i hope that the men will forgive you.
4:13 pm
it was slow, it was inefficient. this was practically useless. the navy was aware of these problems but did little. in the end, near the ship systems for the request on hold. at the last minute when the civilian engineers informed the defense department that his death had decided to install automatic to struct systems, naval authorities overruled him and when he protested, a senior officer asked him in his famous when was the last time a u.s. navy ship was captured? you may not know how badly the intelligence community performed. as you can see from the above ofde which is an edited copy
4:14 pm
the informational orders. it was considered to be of minimal risk by naval intelligence. evaluation was how they justified. one factor above all but the intelligence community to come up with a minimal risk designation. north korea was expected -- hassoviet union operators missions against each other all the time without any significant response. in other words, it was all about the soviets. it was the soviet union technology and it must be ok with north korea as well. to give just one example, admiral thomas more justified than minimal risk assessment by talking about the soviets. the soviets were doing the same thing with their scholars, this is a routine collection of intelligence.
4:15 pm
that thefic fact pueblo is not going to the soviet union was ignored and almost all levels of the risk assessment process. theory, the navy evaluated seven factors when considering mission risk. there was a political climate and sensitivity of the region. the navy's ability to provide port forces, the scope of the intelligence staff, the ship also overall ability, the expected weather in the presence of the shipping international waters. by any reasonable standard, the pueblo about the first to six of these requirements. the weather in january of see japan would be atrocious, they have clearly shown it wasn't in operational condition, the political sensitivity of north korea is something that even today is obvious to even the most casual onlooker makes it a risk for the operation. care, thems to presence in the international waters was the only thing that mattered.
4:16 pm
despite this believe that the ship would be safe, the mission was not given much attention. the pacific fleet -- fleet approved the mission in less than 36 hours with one member of the intelligence division noting that it took me as long to approve it as it did to read it. the joint reconnaissance center which coordinated all such intelligence missions sent the mission is to approval for all intelligence agencies and received a cruel -- approval back from all of them in less than 48 hours. it was similar to all levels of the chain of command. in some levels of intelligence community, the actual mission risk was evaluated as part of a standard monthly package where all the mother package was improved without specific discussion of these missions. never mentioned. here are 30 clear one size that should have been noted in any good risk assessment. north korea had stepped up its
4:17 pm
aggressive action at this time. in 1966, there had been 50 north korean violations of the nose or armistice agreement that ended the korean war. were 543.ere in the first three weeks of january 19 68, same time the above was being dispatched, the first three weeks of january 9068 saw over 40 military incidents on the north korean peninsula, including a north korean attempt to assassinate he.chunky -- part job these were specific authoring ones. on january 11, the pueblo left the stable off the eastern coast of north korea. that same afternoon, radio pyongyang warned that the u.s. imperialist aggressor dispatched from early this morning, hundreds of fishing boats and
4:18 pm
bibles disguised as fishing boats were up the coast. as long as the u.s. imperialist troops conducted reconnaissance by sending spy, our naval ships would continue to take determined countermeasures. january 20, similar comments were made accommodating in a rather obvious statement that we have to do right to make a dual response. we will fully exercise our right. yes, north korea had made similar ones before. they were constantly hurrying the united states with imaginary event -- offenses. now they've taken a much more strident and this undertone, wanting about spy ships. thatould have expected north korean warnings would have the captainssage to of a spy ship operating off the eastern coast. none were ever delivered to the pueblo. that is not to say that no one noticed. a number of military officials operating in this area took
4:19 pm
awareness of this convocation, a number of military officials in the north korean region specifically requested that they be placed on alert for this operation noting the worsening climate around north korea but their request with ignored. the national security agency spent -- sent is visiting wanting warning that this minimal risk assessment was not appropriate for the pueblo mission. this mission -- message also ignored. the head of the green division of the airport security services kept on the messages he received about the pueblo mission in a folder that he labeled operation suicide. of navalop ranks intelligence, although one size went over work. number seven, you may not know what happened in 1968.
4:20 pm
after an uneventful first two weeks, the public took a position outside of the harbor on january 22. two north korean military shows approached and circled the pueblo at a distance of 25 yards. and they turned a public -- abruptly. they had been spotted. the commander did not panic, his ship was in international waters. having display no evidence of his nationality and no one noticed any signs of hostility. they have been wants to expect some kind of restaurant. that is standard on these types of missions. ordersblo's operation were that this should not be scared off by these. no action shall be taken that would give the impression that the united states a balance is the authority of any nation to control international waters. the commander took his orders. he took no action other than
4:21 pm
ordering that radio silence be broken. due to the affirmations to medication problems, this message was not delivered until the next morning. day, january 23. the men were sitting down to lunch when a north korean sub tracer approached. followed tooon be soviet of planes. after three circles around the pueblo, a raised the signal flag ordering the americans to eat two or i would open fire. he said i am in international waters and will remain in the area until tomorrow. came uphe torpedo boats to them waiting to pounce. the ship headed toward open sea.
4:22 pm
provedape attempt was futile. they could go at top speed 13 knots. that is when it could go forward. the subjacent could reach 40 and the torpedo boats in excess of 50. quickly the ships were blocked and the pueblo was surrounded. the pueblo is quickly shredded. exploding glass and shrapnel swarmed over the ship leaving many injured, the antenna for high, was also destroyed. rubbledge was reduced to and cannon shells traded the hall. he ordered his men to stay below, recognizing his or was so badly outgunned that sending anyone topside to try to men the unprotected gun -- mandy unprotected gun would be suicide. he made a decision, the pueblo stopped, ready to surrender.
4:23 pm
the sub chaser rent of a flag. follow in my way, i have pilots aboard. the pueblo complied. trip, theyugh the decided to try to buy some time, hoping for a rescue attempt or to gain more time for emergency destruction. at 2:00 he ordered the ship to stop. quickly, the north korean ships open fire again. they were shooting the ship with machine gun fire. injuries were numerous but one was particularly bad. feynman duane hodges. hodges wouldane pay the ultimate price. and talktruck his hip his right leg, he would be dead within an hour. the north koreans had made that point. they returned to one third speed. the north koreans ordered him to stop and prepare to be boarded.
4:24 pm
in the intelligence room, communications technician don bailey typed the final message to the navy. for men injured and one critically and going off the air now and destroying this gear. it was 2:33 p.m.. the ship.koreans took he was forced to give the north korean captors a tour of the finally the mental the unmistakable crash of the ship into a key here. the pueblo had arrived at her destination -- the naval yard in north korea. the 82 survivors were dissing the beginning. number six, you may not know the consequences of the intelligence loss. after the seizure, the johnson administration ordered a special investigation of the consequent as of the ship's capture for american intelligence which happily concluded that the damage was not vital. that our worldwide to
4:25 pm
medications were not compromised. lesstely, the message was cheerful. president lyndon johnson drew eight gloomy picture in a private meeting with democratic congress, he explained that the carry the nation's most significant and tells devices, they were fitting is out of anything the soviets had. president johnson concluded that now the russians have the model they like able to catch up with us within a year. no doubt that the north koreans captured extensive classified material which they quickly shared with the soviet union. capture ater the north korean plane to moscow carrying 792 pounds of cargo. presumably the salvage from the uss pueblo. american intelligence intercepted a north korean fax
4:26 pm
sending an american guidebook and more to the soviet union. a number of crewmen estimated that complete discussion of classified material would have taken 10 hours and less than 55 emergencyssed between discussion and the time that the ship was boarded. hundreds of documents that the command has committed had been lost. an age whereied file cabinet in the electronic office storing hundreds of classified publications, seven of the eight remained intact for the north koreans. especially significant was the loss from the sideline with a lack -- with a distro system was most noticeable. some equipment was thrown overboard but easily faced out of the sea of japan by north korean from an. were some of loss
4:27 pm
the most vital national security agency encryption and decryption machines as well as the manuals that detailed operation and their repair. especially comment pictured here code radio, aven send and receive unit that handle both ship to shore and additional purification and whose complicated encryption system made it an extra ordinary prize. other communication machinery fell into north korean hands including eight receivers, one of the intelligence communities most reliable and most commonly used communications interceptors. the paper discussion was even less sufficient. 10 weighted eyes with a look classified papers but never tossed overboard and two or three naval mattress covers measuring six feet by three feet were also filled with classified papers and left in the sideline. the commander caldwell giving the north koreans a tour that large amount of unburned papers blocked the open steel door and inside it and mattress cover
4:28 pm
stop with what was classified publications left lying in plain view. over all the navy would later estimate only 10% of the material in the site had been destroyed. the most damaging loss may have been specific information collection requirements. this buildout and you tell the information gaps that american intelligence wanted for particular areas. despite the fact that the pueblo was incapable of finding out most of this information, the needy have voted her with all 128 pieces of information for north korea. america still miss him that they had all fallen into north korean hands. equally as anps immediate was the loss of the electronic order for the far east which thought out the frequency and the operational details of the russian, chinese and korean radar site and transmitters that americans tout
4:29 pm
-- american intelligence had located. other information presumed loss included the findings and the banners earlier in the mission, the classified call signs for the american ships. radar classification instructions and very secret codes and navy transmission procedures. the stent the damage was revealed within a week at an nsa listening post in japan, the staff was routinely monitoring pyongyang and moscow when suddenly, one nsa operative recalled there was a special transmission and all of the secret code word documents were coming across, all the pueblo stuff was coming across, everything was captured. unsurprising then was the nsa assessment shortly after the procedure that the loss was a major intelligence could without parallel in modern history. number five, you may not know how the military responded.
4:30 pm
i think above all else the immediate military response to the attack was shocked. at north korean sub chasers pictured here entropy about attack the pueblo, there was no one ready to respond, it was totally unexpected. they explained that nobody took action, they were not prepared for action, nobody had conceded -- conceivably foreseen such a thing. this informed nato leaders that they had been surrounded in order to keep two. it arrived at the offices of the new voice in japan 23 minutes after being fixed. it waited there for over 40 minutes before being sent to the message center relay this from japan. the offices of the commander in chief specific forces received its 78 minutes after the original transmission. the fifth air force that was opposed to provide support in case of emergency and receive the information for over two hours. the ship sent a second message at 1:18 but the same results.
4:31 pm
this message mentioned the first north korean boarding attempt. it arrived in japan seven minutes after the extent but it was not sent to the air force files 90 minutes and not to the joint chiefs of staff over two hours. not that it would have mattered. the military had failed to put support forces on alert. exampleh air force for has more plaintiff stationed nearby in south korea. however, they were all configured to carry atomic bombs and they can be prepared for conventional weapons to help because the bomb racks that they neither were being stored in japan. the air force base in open now actually launched 12 at 105 entities to help but their takeoff was delayed because the play needed to be fueled and arms. some of them had to be recalled from training missions. had a based on alert and the ships ready, they could have departed in less than 40 minutes. instead, two of them were able to launch one hour and 23
4:32 pm
minutes. with doctors arriving and if you suffice when dwindling, they cannot make it in time. had to land in south korea and wait for further orders. the navy had three destroyers important japan. all of which was in 20 hours of the pueblo and none had been assigned to patrol along the mission route. after the capture there was a asef wave in the military they demanded retribution, a quick plan was devised descent while f1 of five ships to destroy them before the north koreans had a chance to get medical inspection. president johnson never gave final approval to launch. after this plan was rejected, others were considered. within hours of the attack the navy directed another number of destroyers to the area at top speed.
4:33 pm
this operation called for at least three destroyers to charge into wonton harbor at the break of dawn while other destroyers provided support for them. airplanes largely from the enterprise provided air coverage and one of destroyers were marines in the harbor. they would climb above the pueblo and kill any korean troops and expected to be towed out. johnson refused to approve the operation. although the joint chiefs of staff had shown him 20 different plans, none of them would get the minimum alive. within days, the military supported the decision to take a diplomatic track. this would get the prisoners returned by double means, i do not believe there are any of us with a movie to make that would assist us in getting the public returned. just in case diplomacy failed, he did promise the joint chief
4:34 pm
that his forces would be prepared to take such steps as mining the harbor for sending the u.s. has been to operate under armed escort. thatded rather ominously we will also be ready with various nuclear options. i am not sure that any of these military moves will assist in getting the pueblo crew back but they would teach north korea lesson. number four, you may not know what happened to the men in north korea. many people on the remember that they cooperated in north korea propaganda efforts including signing false letters of confession. there is no doubt that such event happened. on march 4 to give one typical example, the north korean delegate at the armistice commission deliver letters
4:35 pm
signed by the entire pueblo crew which admitted that the ship had intruded into the territory and had been captured while committing hostile acts. 7.6 miles from the city. the letter continues -- we have had many hours of solitude to reflect and consider the nature of our event and rather than harbor present to the north korean people, we have a strong feeling of guilt for the acts we have committed. accordingly the crew now confessed and offered public apologies in north korean and suggested the government should do the same. the behavior raised some eyebrows back in the united states. senator richard russell declared that these men are being hailed as heroes. they are euros in the sense that they survived imprisonment but they signed a great many statements that did not reflect any great heroism in my mind. the situationy of
4:36 pm
is much more, than it appears at first glance. two point in particular deserve mention. first is the sheer brutality of the north korean captors. north korean guards were determined to force the meant to cooperate by whatever means were navy had and the failed to provide the men with training in resistant techniques. while the mentor their best, it enough in the face of such extreme violence. they had survived countless meetings and only agreed to sign the letter in early february after guards stripped him naked and force them to sit on a hot radiator. -- and men with marine training put up the fiercest struggle overall. guards beat him mercilessly for six hours to get him to admit that he was a queen language translator and then to make an
4:37 pm
example of him they continued the torture for another 11 hours. i could notnished, recognize him because his face was all swelled out of proportion. his face consisted of five colors, black, blue, yellow, red and patches of white. his eyes were so swollen he could barely see. when i saw the rest of his body, his sides, back and legs were red like blood underneath the skin and swollen to twice their size. one of the two civilian oceanographers that a company them issued a 36 hour in delegate -- interrogation. resultedich time north pounded his head and give them a bucket of water and a sponge and ordered him to clean his own blood off the walls. charles law had guards beat him for 39 hours. they delivered over 250 blows with a two by four block of wood when it finally broke over his
4:38 pm
back they got a four by four wooden post has smash him across the face leaving him lying on the floor bleeding and only semi conscious. finally, he confessed to enzi he could think of including an escape plan he remembered from the james bond movie. the north koreans were trying to be brutal, they often were. doctors removed shrapnel from a wounded man but rather than use anesthesia they tie his hands behind his bed, one old attempt -- blind folded him and editors sit on his legs. one man experienced some vision problems because of an inflamed optic nerve. doctors get him 13 injections into both eyeballs with a three needle. the second qualification and one that i am afraid has long been forgotten is the extent to which the men made every attempt they could to discredit these propaganda efforts by subtly using the advantage of american language and behavior. it began as early as the first confession signed by the commander.
4:39 pm
commission had been meant for him by his captors so he was unable to change the word but he provided a false age and serial number. by mostits miss everyone but take upon by the johnson administration. it continued from there, soon thereafter a letter from the entire crew to president johnson as before an american apology was full of exaggerated rhetoric by one pair -- dramatically striding toward the bridge and other declared to another officer -- let's intrude and propagate. one letter admitted to violating north korean waters by quoting the uniform military justice definition of rape. was neither the frequency nor this distance of these transgressions matter because penetration is efficient to complete the act. phrases wrote awkward to indicate they were in speaking freely. quoted thesteful meant to his wife. should immediate affirmative
4:40 pm
response not be propagated by the u.s. government. confession letter said this is a lie in tiny morse code dots at the bottom of the page. he told his parents to say hello to enter jemima, uncle ben and his wife. --ther man told his parents the north koreans were the nicest people. was an ms-dos edition in washington. when the north koreans demanded that they put together officials to if these people should be sent, they named the belly, jimmy hoffa and dr. hugh hefner. a group of men collaborated to write a confession in which they claimed they had been trained by bud sawyer and given orders by barney google. if the mission failed, don how would likely give them the tiny bubbles treatment. on and on it went.
4:41 pm
including the famous middle finger gesture. in june, they were showing films of the attempt playing an international summit in london. in one scene, a group of british fans extended their middle fingers for the north korean soccer team which smiled and bowed in response not knowing what it meant. from then on, the men released a wave of middle fingerssplint to the confused cap's a hawaiian good luck symbol. you can see here, one of the propaganda photos that the north koreans released to the press including the american press -- one man has his middle fingers extended. the gesture became so, that the north koreans been giving it to each other. the colonel in charge of the toblo men in captivity encourage them before the press conference extended his middle finger toward them, telling them good luck, i wish you a very successful press conference. three -- you may not know
4:42 pm
how the american public people have this vision of americans rallying together, coming together to demand the freedom of the american soldiers, supposedly remembering that pueblo committees spring up everywhere and i read americans organized to demand the return of their wayward sons. were very the pueblo largely forgotten, quickly by the american people. maybe they were just lumped in with the budget american conflict in age of the vietnam war and maybe many americans were simple distracted by the chaos of the late 1960's. maybe due to the fact that for many americans it was the soviet union pulling the string. it turned their attention to the cold war of the soviet union rather than the north koreans. it may even be a deeper issue and perhaps tied to the tendency of the american people in the late 1960's to doubt the honesty of the government leading them
4:43 pm
to question the johnson administration's the patient of the pueblo incident. wrotendicated columnist that he believed the north korean version of events because north korea hasn't lied to me lately. regardless of the reason, the fact remains that the american public that this with a torrent of outrage and then fell silent. the buffalo daily news wrote that there should be no word missing in the demand for the safe return of ship and crew. north korea should -- telegrams calling for action flooded the white house. one georgia man ordered the president of the united states to get off your complacent rear and get the ship and its crew back. many americans including a group of world war ii veterans, some high school student in dallas and an elderly messages as
4:44 pm
veteran from world war i offered to assist in rescue attempts. the residents of capitol hill felt the same way. the ranking republican on the senate foreign relations committee called on president johnson to send a fleet into that area, level our guns on the shore and serving ultimatum release of the ship and the men and an even more punishes comment of the press i select a target, i do like truman did, that one of them disappear. failure totration's take immediate military action sparked howls of protest. the american nation was led by men of encouragement and integrity. now it is led by abusers, lies and cowards who sneer at honor and truth in luxuries we can no longer afford. telegrammmon was a from it was consummate to president johnson saying that our government handling of the pueblo seizure is the most gutless unpatriotic act this
4:45 pm
government has ever perpetrated. one of you have the pentagon called on the flag and be done with it? , the pueblo seems to vanish from the public eye, nine days after the seizure the new york times relegated a story to page 13 just beneath an article about process margaret's tonsillectomy. the front page analyze a bond request. in april, the north koreans released some fabricated reporting to prove that the pueblo violated their territorial waters. it was a crucial and how disputed issue that the new york times buried on page three. this was about a sanitation strike in memphis and the position on the sale of long-held university. newsweek discussed the pueblo 10 times in february. in november, one national magazine examined the international crises but
4:46 pm
amazingly neglected to even mention the pueblo. even the north koreans were stunned, executive officer murphy wondered how the story could dominate the front page one day and then go to page 32 or disappear entirely. it was truly shocking in january after the incident at a press conference one state department official had declared that these men would not know with a become forgotten men. by the spring of 1968, forgotten men was what they had become. number two, you may not know how this was resolved. it was a truly remarkable study. lbj was willing to do anything to get those men back including meeting naked in the middle of the street at high noon. nothing was working.
4:47 pm
the north korean president issued a demand that the state department referred to as the three a demand. whenuld release the men the united states admitted it skilled in sending the ship and ordering it to violent north korean waters, apologize for doing so and assured north korea that it would never happen again. the johnson and ministration rejected a proposal and looked anywhere for a delay solution. the 82 men lives of by launching a military strike, the administration look for double my solutions, among their proposals they offer the idea that the north koreans could release the men to a neutral country which it hold them -- which would hold them while they investigated the north korean claims. side withcided to north korea, the united states would apologize. another proposal was advanced that north korea would accept
4:48 pm
themending turned over to just -- the status of detainees by the united nations. at one point united states given opportunity right on the bottom of a north korean admission of guilt letter. that is a letter prepared by the north koreans in conformity with the three a demand. instead, the united states negotiated that they would a knowledge receipt of the ship and crew. all of them were rejected by kim il-sung. in november of 1968 did -- the situation was desperate. discussed the public stand up with his wife eleanor. he saw no solution other than together north koreans and apology but wondered how to do it in a way to minimize the american humiliation. his wife had an answer, have the american negotiator agreed to
4:49 pm
sign a north korean letter only if they would allow him to publicly refute he ate it before signing. many were skeptical but this give them little to lose. general woodward made a proposal, behind-the-scenes the johnson administration were taught to keep up the pressure on north korea. the united states and the soviet union both agree to quietly work on his hands and encourage the north koreans to accept the offer. perhaps more significantly the state department began dropping loud bookends suggesting to north korea that the united states to capture two new fishing vessels that the north koreans had just purchased from the netherlands which were vital to their economy. on december 17, the north koreans accepted the proposal just hours after it had been made. six days later the two sides met for the final act of the pueblo crisis. the north korean negotiator give general woodward a letter of
4:50 pm
concession echoing the three a demand. before signing, woodward read from the prepared statement. it wrote that the document i was i was prepared by the north koreans. i will sign a document to free the crew and only two for the crew. he then signed and in the pueblo men were released across the bridge of no return. crossed first and then his men followed in 32nd intervals. it is just like charles law announced, climbing out of hell and into heaven. the never one thing you may not know about the pueblo incident, you may not know what happened to the men when they came home. the pueblo men were flown from south korea to the air station not far from here. was winning for
4:51 pm
them, family, friends, local celebrities and politicians and of course, the press watching as they descended to eight euros welcome. today, san diego is happy with peers as 82 men whose names would be permanently inscribed in the history of the united states came up to san diego. but the euros welcome would not last. that same day admiral john hyland or to the formation of -- encourages the navy was looking for facts, not scapegoats. onemilitary recalled that had blood in his eye to get the commander and bring him to justice. hearings lasted for almost two asths, the crewmen testified did many of the officers and many of the mithra the chain of command. the board found much to criticize. when admiral johnson admitted he
4:52 pm
plans to find some forces, admiral marshall right shook his head in disbelief. when we add it up, they really had a contingency plan for forces that do not exist. bowman had ad similar reaction. -- we had not moved very persons the stone age. the court released its findings in april recommending that they be court-martialed. as well as a former -- formal letter -- did not this was his greatest fall. the american public rebelled. wrote thatl magazine judging from what happened to the liberty and the pueblo, the navy prefers to accept the losses of the ships one by one and then to court-martialed the skipper if he survives.
4:53 pm
in the face of a loud public outcry, the admiralty and the conclusions too harsh and lower them to formal letters of admission for all. no further punishment or investigation was to be held. they havepinion that suffered enough and further punishment would not be justified. many americans were happy but many in the navy hierarchy were outraged. the decision to clear commander bucher was good news to many people including my dear wife but to me he will always remain as a coward, disgracing the navy and blackening hours lori's naval tradition. although the official inquiry was over for many of the pueblo men, your deal would continue. they were quickly out of the service, most of them wanted to stay but turning death returning to their old lives proved hard as men were forced to deal with these emotional scars without
4:54 pm
much support from the navy which generally seemed to want to forget the whole thing. in 1985, congress created the prisoner of war metal to honor those who had suffered while in enemy captivity but the navy ruled that the pueblo men were ineligible explaining that they were merely detainees in north korea. it would take a few years but the pueblo men would eventually get their p.o.w. metals. alcohol and drug abuse, build marriages, and ability to hold jobs, even suicide would take a heavy toll on many of the men for the next 35 years. recalled, the second the open fire on us, the whole world changed completely and forever. have the only non-photo of the 82 survivors of the uss pueblo, a number of the men are here tonight. you willat the rest of join me, it is perhaps 35 years
4:55 pm
too late but well-deserved anyway. let's offer a round of applause in recognition of the sacrifices of the veterans of the uss pueblo. [applause] >> on history bookshelf, you're from the country's best-known american history writers of the past decade every saturday at 4:00 p.m. eastern. you can watch any of our programs at any time when you visit our website you're watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3.
4:56 pm
>> c-span's history series returns next month with a look at 12 and is being court each week historians and experts join us to discuss the constitutional issues and personal stories bondage significant supreme court additions. live at nine 5 p.m. eastern and to have you understand he's case better, we had a companion guide written by tony morrow. landmark cases, volume two, the book costs 895 plus shipping and handling, to get your copy go to cases. >> tonight on lectures and history, university of north carolina at chapel hill professor teaches a class about the history of protestant fundamentalism and pentecostalism in 20th-century america. here's a preview.
4:57 pm
>> pentecostal revival first came to the attention of the mainstream press in 1906. this was a newspaper started a major villages of and known as the street revival, here's a image of the mission on azusa street. the los angeles times reporting this weird babble of tongues, new sex of fanatics are breaking loose, that is the sub headline, the gurgle of words taught by a sister. what is this bewildered reporter talking about? pentecostal leaders had been traveling the country before a few years at this point. an african-american hotel waiter
4:58 pm
-- a guy named william seymour picked up this message of the radical power of the holy spirit to work in you and through you. he had gotten this from a revivalist, he heard teaching in houston and he traveled to los angeles and brought it with him. he probably would not have been most people's pick for likeliest evangelist to ignite a worldwide revival but that is what he would come to do. he was a son of former slaves, he was born in louisiana, pretty impoverished circumstances and actually raised as a roman catholic, it wasn't human race as a protestant. as a young man he had fallen in with the holiness movement and he felt called to preach and like many early pentecostal evangelist, it was in your death experience that did it, he
4:59 pm
almost died of smallpox and lost he believed that god young tim back from the brink and wanted him to do this work. seymour is second from the right in the front row, here is where his revivals were based initially. -- had to lao was known no money and no followers. he had holy prayer meetings at the house he was staying and present he was drawing huge .udiences to the front porch they had to move to this abandoned warehouse on the azusa street. >> watch the entire program tonight at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern on lectures in history. american history tv, only on c-span3. >> next on american history tv, a reefing on automation and the workforce. presented by pre-historians.
5:00 pm
beginning with early 20th century automation, they discussed the pros and cons of technological developments in the workplace and the increasingly rapid change of the digital age. this hour-long capitol hill event was hosted by the national history center. >> national history center brings perspective to current issues. the center is strictly to-partisan and a it's not advocate for any particular policy but to provide historical content. it can help inform policymakers with difficult issues. start first, before i introduce this morning's topic and


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on