CBS Evening News for Tuesday, Dec 20, 1983
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(Studio) Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger reported having Pentagon report on bombing of Marine location in Beirut.
REPORTER: Dan Rather
(DC) [Pentagon spokesperson Michael BURCH - says report is critical.] Questions said raised as to who was to blame. Robert Long noted head of commission Erroneously identification picture of General Bernard Rogers, sup. allied commander, Europe, flashed briefly on screen. Role of Marine Colonel Timothy Geraghty noted. [Sup. Allied Commander, Europe, General Bernard ROGERS - on PBS tape, notes responsibility of commander on the ground.] House subcommittee said blaming Geraghty for errors in judgment with regard to protection of Marines. General John Vessey and Marine commandant P. X. Kelley said also having responsibility. Scenes in Beirut April 18, 1983, shown. Chain of command from President Reagan down given. [ROGERS - acknowledges his responsibility.] Photos of senior cmdrs. shown. Question of propriety of Marines, assignment in Lebanon noted. [ROGERS - expresses distaste for Lebanon mission.] Dilemma of peacekeeping mission stressed.
REPORTER: David Martin
(DC) Pressure to pull out Marines said building in White House William Buckley, Junior, said joining the cry for getting Marines out. [Publisher, "Conservative Digest", Richard VIGUERIE - says no win situation will damage conservative image.] Polls said indicating more and more people want Marines out. Reagan noted beginning to yield. Circumstances acceptable for withdrawal outlined. [Middle East expert William QUANDT - observes contradiction of Reagan's differing positions.] Effect of situation on 1984 election considered.
REPORTER: Lesley Stahl
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