At long last, Robert Strange McNamara has “shuffled off to join LBJ and Dick Nixon in the 7th level of hell,” writes journalist and author Joseph Galloway, who couldn’t be more pleased. “McNamara was the original bean-counter—a man who knew the cost of everything but the worth of nothing.” Galloway writes that he had the misfortune of interviewing the former defense secretary and promoter of the Vietnam War several times; he spoke only off-record, and offered mostly lies.
“The only disagreement I ever had with Dave Halberstam was over which of us hated him the most. In retrospect, it was Halberstam.” But then McNamara inspired hate. Once, he found himself on the Martha’s Vineyard ferry, drinking and schmoozing with his fellow passengers. A hippie artist spotted him, and “was outraged to see McNamara, whom he viewed as a war criminal, so enjoying himself.” He promptly grabbed him, wrestled him to the railing, and nearly succeeded in pushing him over the side.