George W. Bush’s words Tuesday night evoked in me a sense of familiarity. They were, word by word, in speeches delivered by Kennedy, Johnson or Nixon about Vietnam. Not with pride, I recognize that some of those very words are mine.
In 1965, I drafted the speeches for Robert McNamara. I used the word “terrorist” just as the current speechwriters have done for Bush. Like Bush’s advisors, I felt the need to target a larger-scale adversary to which we would really fight as our true enemy. As adversary, I chose China and not the North Vietnamese to justify our lack of immediate success. Today, al-Qaeda is being accused rather than Iraqi nationalists.
My draft was approved in 1965, but Johnson added lies about the necessary number of troops to justify the deployment of reservists. Also over that time, I portrayed Vietnam as a test for the United States. Bush’s speechwriters are using today the same trick. Finally, just like Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, the president is evasive as to the duration of the conflict.
This new use of old arguments dislikes me a lot.

Los Angeles Times (United States)

I Wrote Bush’s War Words — in 1965”, by Daniel Ellsberg, Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2005.