The White House Tapes

It has been said of Lyndon Johnson that he virtually conducted his presidency by phone. His calls started at five in the morning when he arrived in the Oval Office and he would call every congressman and senator whose vote counted through that day.

Over the phone he would cajole, bully and seduce - until he got what he wanted.

This fascinating first episode details the manipulation and errors of judgement over the Gulf of Tonkin incident that led to America's descent into war with Vietnam. Witness Johnson and his Secretary of State McNamara as they plan to conceal the true facts about the North Vietnamese attack on the US destroyer Maddox.

By blowing the aggression of the North Vietnamese out of proportion and concealing the actions that provoked it, Johnson was to commit US troops to a lengthy and fruitless war that eventually led to America's defeat and his own downfall as president.

Presented by : Charles Wheeler

Genre: Documentary