Joe Galloway, Legendary War Reporter, on Death of Robert McNamara: Look Back, in Anger

By Galloway, Joseph L. | Editor & Publisher, July 6, 2009 | Go to article overview

Joe Galloway, Legendary War Reporter, on Death of Robert McNamara: Look Back, in Anger


Galloway, Joseph L., Editor & Publisher


"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." --Clarence Darrow (1857--1938)

Well, the aptly named Robert Strange McNamara has finally shuffled off to join LBJ and Dick Nixon in the 7th level of Hell.

McNamara was the original bean-counter -- a man who knew the cost of everything but the worth of nothing.

Back in 1990 I had a series of strange phone conversations with McMamara while doing research for my book We Were Soldiers Once And Young. McNamara prefaced every conversation with this: "I do not want to comment on the record for fear that I might distort history in the process." Then he would proceed to talk for an hour, doing precisely that with answers that were disingenuous in the extreme -- when they were not bald-faced lies.

Upon hanging up I would call Neil Sheehan and David Halberstam and run McNamara's comments past them for deconstruction and the addition of the truth.

The only disagreement i ever had with Dave Halberstam was over the question of which of us hated him the most. In retrospect, it was Halberstam.

When McNamara published his first book -- filled with those distortions of history -- Halberstam, at his own expense, set out on a journey following McNamara on his book tour around America as a one-man truth squad. …

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