Book Discussion on The Pueblo Incident
Sep 26, 2002
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Professor Lerner discussed his book, The Pueblo Incident: A Spy Ship and the Failure of American Foreign Policy
, published by the University Press of Kansas. The USS Pueblo was an aging cargo ship refurbished to .. Read More
Professor Lerner discussed his book, The Pueblo Incident: A Spy Ship and the Failure of American Foreign Policy, published by the University Press of Kansas. The USS Pueblo was an aging cargo ship refurbished to serve as an intelligence collector. The ship was sent off unarmed, with an inexperienced captain and crew for a secret mission in international waters. In January 1968, the Pueblo was attacked and captured by North Korean gunships before the completion of its first mission. The crew was imprisoned and tortured for more than 300 days. President Lyndon Johnson’s administration interpreted the action as an extension of the Cold War rivalry between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, but Professor Lerner maintains that the Soviets were not involved in the Pueblo’s seizure. He contends that North Korea acted on its own and for domestic reasons. Drawing on recently declassified documents from the Johnson administration and interviews with those involved, Professor Lerner’s book addresses what the ship’s mission was, the controversy over Commander Lloyd Bucher’s actions, why the ship had no military support, and how damaging the intelligence loss was to national security.