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Viet Era Pentagon Spokesman Dies

September 9, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Phil G. Goulding, a one-time journalist who served as Pentagon spokesman during the Vietnam War era, died from cancer Tuesday at his home in Potomac, Md. He was 77.

Goulding was selected by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara to become deputy assistant secretary for public affairs in 1965. He moved to the post of chief spokesman two years later, also serving under Secretary Clark Clifford.

In a book he wrote years later, Goulding acknowledged some of the misinformation that he had been given _ and had relayed _ as Defense Department spokesman during the war.

``I misled and misinformed the American people a good many times in a good many ways, through my own lack of foresight, through carelessness, through relaying incomplete information which the originators considered complete, through transmitting reports which had been falsified, deliberately, at lower levels,″ he wrote.

After leaving the Pentagon in 1969, Goulding was a scholar for the Aspen Institute of Humanistic studies and vice president of a New York consulting firm. He also headed the Washington public affairs office of Burson-Marsteller, was a consultant to Exxon Corp. and was a vice president of the American Petroleum Institute.

Goulding came to Washington as a reporter for Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer, covering politics and specializing in national security coverage after serving in the Navy during World War II.

Survivors include his wife and five children from his first marriage. His first marriage ended in divorce.

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