Vietnam calls report that false intelligence escalated war a 'historic fact'

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Vietnam on Thursday described as a "historic fact" a US report that false intelligence given to the White House in 1964 led to the first major escalation of the Vietnam War.

Reacting to the report, Vietnamese foreign ministry spokesman Le Dung told AFP: "Everybody knows that the Tonkin Gulf event in 1964 was created by the then US administration, using it as a reason to extend war to the whole territory of Vietnam. This is a historic fact."

The NSA officials' report was used to justify the US Congress's historic Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave then-president Lyndon Johnson authority to sharply increase military operations in Vietnam without declaring war.

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