Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Montage of images and link description. Race for the Superbomb Imagemap: linked to kids and home
The Film and More
Imagemap(text links below) of menu items
The American Experience
The Film & More
Interview Transcripts | Bibliography | Primary Sources

General Andrew Goodpaster on: Strategic Reconnaissance Flights Over the Soviet Union
General Andrew Goodpaster Q: The strategic reconnaissance flights, the so-called overflights of the Soviet Union, were a very controversial business. Tell me about that?

GAP: The U-2 -- we recognized that it was a very controversial business. [President] Eisenhower put that under the CIA to make it as similar as possible to the kind of espionage and covert activity that all nations were engaged in, where the Soviets probably out-performed us by a factor of five to ten -- how much more they did and how much more effective they were. But we recognized, and he recognized that this intrusion into air space -- the reason he put the program under the CIA was, he said that if people in uniform are doing that, it's an act of war. He wanted it to be an act of espionage.

But we recognized, and I would say he recognized most of all, what the adverse aspects of it were. And what kind of excitement and confusion there would be when one of these finally would be lost. But, he felt that it was providing something that was of really the highest importance to him in terms of his conviction as to the adequacy and the right composition of the military forces that we were maintaining.

back to Interview Transcripts

Program Description | Enhanced Transcript | Reference