President Johnson's Telephone Remarks to the AFL-CIO Convention Meeting at San Francisco on December 9, 1965, "Why We Are in Viet-Nam," Department of State Bulletin, December 27, 1965, p. 1014.

Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 4, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), pp. 639

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"We are there because for all our shortcomings, for all our failings as a nation and a people, we remain fixed on the pursuit of freedom as a deep and moral obligation that will not let us go.

"To defend that freedom--to permit its roots to deepen and grow without fear of external suppression--is our purpose in South Viet-Nam. Unchecked aggression against free and helpless people would be a grave threat to our own freedom--and an offensive to our own conscience."

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