A great deal could be read into your "preparations," which troubled others such as officers and lifer NCOs, and you felt were serious enough to bring to the attention of others. Could you tell me more about your "assignments," if you are free to do so? Why did they trouble you and others so?
I attended classes and training in 1963 which were supposed to prepare the units I was in for fighting guerrillas in a tropical or subtropical environment. It was well-known that Vietnam was the locale and in fact was explicitly mentioned in some of the classes. What wasn't well known was the scope of the projected inter- vention or what its purpose would be, but the career types didn't like the idea of a "dirty war" (just like they don't want to go into Bosnia today, from what I read in the newspapers). (Others, of course, welcomed an opportunity to get combat experience which is necessary to promotion in the higher officer ranks.)
After awhile I concluded -- just from analyzing gossip and press reports -- that the scope was major and that it was politically driven -- that is, people outside the military had determined on some kind of large-scale effort. In other words, I concluded that there was going to be a major war and that it would be a mess (to put it mildly) because it would not have any clear goal or point at which it would be possible to stop. This was what I tried to tell people in 1964. After a year or so it became unnecessary to tell anyone about the first part. I'd say that it was in '68 -- after Tet -- that the public realized that the war had no rational goal.
I should add that some of the information I had been given was classified, and I was scrupulous about not publicizing that part of it. I don't think this made any difference one way or the other. People were simply not interested in the issue.
Of course, I also regarded military intervention in other countries to be immoral when unnecessary, but this did not have a lot to do with my having been in the Army.
You tried to tell the public about the danger you and your army buddies felt about widening the scope of the war. What made you think the public wasn't interested?
Lack of response.
Do you think your assignments would have received more public attention later on in the war?
No, later everything I had to say became quite redundant. There were people who had actually been there -- even generals -- who came out against the war.
Do you suppose anyone was trying to suppress publicizing your "preparations"?
Only in the way the major mass media suppress anything they don't like or understand all the time. This is nothing new. I'm sure I was free to hand out leaflets all I liked.
You untimately went to Canada. Why did you decide to go? Were you made to feel unwelcome?
I was tired of being angry all the time, and I was tired of having my tax money go to kill people for nothing. Of course, I now think this was a rather shallow political analysis, but I was 29 or 30 then. I've had 25 years to think about it.
By the time I went to Canada (1970) I think the people who were _for_ the war were the ones who felt unwelcome.