Sunday, May 23, 1965: 'Credibility gap'

The term -- referring to the disparity between the stated justification and the actual reason for U.S. military intervention in the Dominican Republic -- appears as part of a column written by David Wise of the New York Herald Tribune. Wise does not use those exact words; instead, it appears in the headline "Dilemma in 'Credibility Gap.' "  
     -- Clipping from The High Point (N.C.) Enterprise, May 28, 1965

(A May 1 message from Gen. Earle G. Weaver, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Lt.  Gen. Bruce Palmer Jr., commander of the U.S. forces in the Dominican Republic, summarizes the narratives: "Your announced mission is to save US lives. Your unannounced mission is to prevent the Dominican Republic from going Communist.")
     -- Source: "Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968": @)

     The term gains wider use after Murrey Marder's story in The Washington Post in December 1965: "Creeping signs of doubt and cynicism about administration pronouncements, especially in its foreign policy, are privately troubling some of the government's usually stalwart supporters. The problem could be called a credibility gap. It represents a perceptibly growing disquiet, misgiving or skepticism about the candor or validity of official declarations."
     -- "Doubt Grows Over Administration Statements," as published in the (Mansfield, Ohio) News-Journal, December 7, 1965 (via newspapers.com; subscription only): @

     The term would become closely associated with the Johnson administration's conduct of the Vietnam War, as well as with the words and actions of politicians in general.

* Entry from "Encyclopedia of American Journalism" (edited by Stephen L. Vaughn, 2008): @
* Entry from "Safire's Political Dictionary" (William Safire, 2008): @
* Entry from "Historical Dictionary of the 1970s" (edited by James S. Olson, 1999): @
* Entry from "History of the Mass Media in the United States: An Encyclopedia" (edited by Margaret A. Blanchard, 1998): @
* "Credibility Gap -- Part 1" (Walter Lippman, March 1967): @
* "Credibility Gap -- Part 2" (Lippman, April 1967): @
* "The Dominican Crisis ... The Hemisphere Acts" (U.S. State Department, October 1965): @
* "Congress, Information and Foreign Affairs" (Prepared for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations by the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 1978): @
* "When Presidents Lie: A History of Official Deception and Its Consequences" (Eric Alterman, 2004): @
* "McNamara, Clifford, and the Burdens of Vietnam, 1965-1969" (Edward J. Drea, Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, 2011): @ 

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