Former defense secretary Robert McNamara died Monday. In a 1995 interview with Terry Gross, McNamara reflects on Vietnam and admits his serious doubts about US policy and the decision-making that escalated the war.
McNamara has written a book, In Retrospect, which contains the long awaited admission that he felt U.S. policy in Vietnam was wrong and the war was unwinnable. He details the behind-the-scenes decision-making that escalated the war, and the atmosphere of the times which made policymakers feel they had no choice but to do so.
His new documentary, The Fog of War, is a profile of the man many considered to be the architect of the Vietnam conflict, Robert McNamara. Taken from a series of interviews Morris conducted with McNamara, it yields new insights into the mind of the former Secretary of Defense. Morris' other films include The Thin Blue Line, Vernon, Florida, Gates of Heaven, and Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control. He's also done a number of commercials. His clients include Apple, Nike, Miller High Life and PBS.
Washington Post staffer Paul Hendrickson has been writing about former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara for years, but hasn't yet found a way use his extensive research to write a book-length profile. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross about McNamara's reluctance to share his feelings on the Vietnam War.