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Kiss the Boys Goodbye
May 30, 2005 7:35 AM   Subscribe

"I am Colonel Tom C. McKenney, You must know how to reach Bobby Garwood. I directed an official mission to assassinate him behind enemy lines, because I believed what they told me. Would you tell him that I will crawl on my hands and knees to beg his forgiveness?"
posted by drakepool (22 comments total)

 
For those who might not know, the American Opinion Book Service is a branch of the John Birch Society.
posted by warbaby at 7:51 AM on May 30, 2005


Hi warbaby,

It was there, or NY Times for an excerpt.

I didn't mean it to imply that I'm a supporter of the John Birch Society.

This subject has haunted always haunted me, that's why I I brought it up.

If you want, we can talk about it. :)
posted by drakepool at 8:03 AM on May 30, 2005


"Three months later, Green Beret Capt. "Ike" Eisenbraun was led into camp.

He looked like a survivor of a Nazi death camp, weighing less than 100 lbs.

Garwood was never so glad to see anyone in his life.

Ike spoke fluent Vietnamese and knew how to survive.

He was weak and sick from months of brutal mistreatment, but to Garwood he was a tower of strength and wisdom.

Ike forced him to catch and eat rats for precious protein.

Garwood had an ear for languages and, with Ike's expert tutoring, he became fluent in Vietnamese amazingly fast.

As the war ground on, more Americans were taken prisoners and brought into the camp.

The new prisoners were invariably shocked by the ghastly appearance of Ike and Garwood.

The camp administrators kept the two confined away from the new POWs.

Garwood was forced to translate for the cadre when they held propaganda and interrogation sessions.

They wanted the new POWs to believe that he couldn't be trusted.

They succeeded!

After several cruel beatings by guards, Ike died on September 17, 1967.

Garwood had loved him like a father. He buried Ike with his own hands and thereafter sank into deep and prolonged depression."
link
posted by drakepool at 8:21 AM on May 30, 2005


That third link contains the first attempt I've seen for a plausible explanation for why American POWs would be kept in SE Asia for so long. I don't necessarily buy it, but it's a better explanation than the "wily inscrutable Asian" stereotype I've gotten from stupid revenge-fantasy movies with Sylvester Stallone or Chuck Norris in them.
posted by alumshubby at 8:37 AM on May 30, 2005


Thanks for your comments alumshubby.

Years ago, when I was browsing the stacks and came across "Spite House" and began my journey with this subject, I entered a dark world.

I began "reading between the lines", take the "Devil's Shadow" book below. We were accussed of using bio-warfare in Korea. This book is illuminating, if you read it with the assumption we did.

But, "Spite House", when read w/Bright Light, reveals accounts of our troops impersonating enemy forces and such. It was surreal. The truth of what happened, as you say, hasn't been layed out. I'm left to try and "read between the lines".


Veith, George J., 1957-
Code-name Bright Light : the untold story of U.S. POW rescue efforts during the Vietnam war / George J. Veith.
New York : Free Press, c1998.

Haas, Michael E., 1944-
In the devil's shadow : UN special operations during the Korean War / Michael E. Haas.
Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press, 2000.
posted by drakepool at 8:51 AM on May 30, 2005


Wrapped up in this subject too, is Operation Tailwind.

Left out of all the official accounts, is the use of gas other than tear gas.

Often, SOG battle chronologies seem to have something missing. When you factor in the use of special gas, they make more sense.
posted by drakepool at 8:55 AM on May 30, 2005


I didn't mean it to imply that I'm a supporter of the John Birch Society...

Sure, we, um, believe you....sure, no problem.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:06 AM on May 30, 2005


The Myths:
Not all US POWs were released by their captors at the end of the Vietnam War.
The U.S. government knew that all POWs were not released.
U.S. POWs remain in captivity today.
There is a conspiracy within the U. S. government to hide the continued imprisonment of Americans and, whenever the truth emerges, it is debunked.
The U.S. government is doing nothing to account for or recover missing men.

The Facts:
All U.S. POWs captured during the Vietnam War were released, either at Operation Homecoming (spring, 1973) or earlier. The only men captured and not released are 113 who died in captivity; their identities and the circumstances of their deaths are known; some of their remains have been recovered/returned.
No U. S. prisoners of war have been abandoned by the U. S. government.
No U.S POWs remained in captivity after the conclusion of Operation Homecoming.
There is no conspiracy within the U. S. government to conceal the abandonment of prisoners of war (who were not abandoned in the first place).
No U.S. POWs from Indochina were taken to the Soviet Union, China, or any other third country.
The U.S. government has been -- since well before the end of the Vietnam War -- exerting all possible efforts to recover or account for missing men. That effort continues today and is unprecedented in the history of warfare.

Those who promote these false claims have produced a vast array of half-truth, untruth, hearsay, unsubstantiated claims, personal attacks, and mythology. The accumulated effect of years of nonsense has been exactly what one would expect:

The big lie has been accepted as truth in some quarters.

So, what do I know about it?
My Credentials

I am Joe Schlatter, Colonel, U. S. Army, Retired. I retired on 1 April 1995. My involvement in the MIA issue came during two assignments:

February 1986 - July 1990 Feb 86 - Dec 88: Chief, Analysis Branch, Defense Intelligence Agency Special Office for POW-MIA Affairs
Dec 88 - Jul 90: Chief, Defense Intelligence Agency Special Office for POW-MIA Affairs


Which is found at Joe Schlatter's MIA Facts, where you can read his review of Prisoners of Hope: Exploiting the POW-MIA Myth in America as well. Previously posted here as part of POW/MIA's - Another Viet Nam War Fantasy ...
posted by y2karl at 9:09 AM on May 30, 2005


By all means, assume away, R. Mutt.

In retrospect, I should have offered the NY Times link, but I thought the registration might be irritating, and I respect your time.
posted by drakepool at 9:11 AM on May 30, 2005


Thanks, y2karl, I maintain an open mind. This subject has captured my imagination and I think all I have done so far is offer my speculation.

I hope you can understand my fascination with it.
posted by drakepool at 9:16 AM on May 30, 2005


drakepool, sit back and wait for threads to develop. I don't think you need to respond to every single comment with a comment of your own.
posted by absalom at 9:28 AM on May 30, 2005


At MIA Facts, also note the section entitled The Case of Robert R. Garwood and, more especially, the section on Spite House: Libel and Slander, from whence the Tom McKenney story is mentioned:

Summary. The author of the book Spite House -- purporting to be the true story of convicted Vietnam-era collaborator Robert Garwood -- has now admitted that the book is libelous and slanderous and is based only on "Garwood's recollections." Spite House author Monika Jensen-Stevenson claimed that she conducted extensive research and determined that Garwood was an abandoned POW, framed by the US government. Spite House included statements by Garwood in which he charged US POWs who had witnessed his collaboration with reprehensible -- if not criminal -- actions while in captivity. One of these men read the book and sued for libel and slander. In late 1999, Jensen and her publishers agreed to a settlement. As part of the settlement, she published an admission that Garwood was her only source... .

Look at Schlatter's discussion of Tom McKenney's and read McKenney's email at The Plan to Clear Garwood: An Assault on Those Who Served Honorably:

The Libel and Slander

Several US POWs were held at one or more camps established in I Corps. Garwood was in this area until approximately 1969 when he went to North Vietnam. These US POWs saw and, to some extent, interacted with Garwood.

They observed him coming and going in and out of the camps with PAVN units. Garwood was carrying an AK-47, with ammunition magazines, and was wearing PAVN web gear.

Garwood came to talk with the POWs on many occasions. He urged them to cooperate with their captors. When they complained to Garwood about their treatment, he "ratted" to the PAVN and , in some cases, the US POWs were beaten because of what Garwood told the PAVN.

In Spite House, Garwood is presented as the hero and these US POWs are portrayed as cowards, whiners, and collaborators. The most egregious of the lies in Spite House are those directed against an individual who, at the time, was an Army physician and POW. As a physician, this man was bound by his Hippocratic oath to render all possible care to those in need. Garwood claims that the doctor::

Hoarded medical supplies that he obtained from the PAVN and did not use the supplies to treat his US comrades;
Informed on Garwood to camp authorities; and,
Performed unnecessary surgery on Garwood, causing him great pain and suffering.

For a physician to have done any of these would have been a violation of his Hippocratic oath and these charges -- all of them completely false -- are slanderous and libelous of the physician. For this reason, in January 1999, he filed suit against Monika Jensen and her publisher .

The facts are completely different from the falsehoods in Spite House. I recommend that folks read Zalin Grant's book, The Survivors, for the facts about life in the camps where Garwood was collaborating. What really happened was that the physician, with no medical supplies or equipment to speak of, no sanitation, no assistance, and himself suffering from malnutrition, diarrhea, and other diseases, did whatever he could to try to treat US POWs as well as ARVN POWs in the camp. Garwood, meanwhile, was carrying a weapon, operating with PAVN against US forces, living with the PAVN, and snitching on the US POWs...


Oh, and then, in relation to the libel and slander part, there is this email purportedly from Col. McKenny asking for smears on a POW:

From: Tom C McKenney

Friends,

I have been out of touch for 10 days (even the computer in my Ky office was down while I was there). Thanks for being willing to help. Ex-Capt Kushner's threats and demands appear to be an effort by "them", ie the Govt power structure ( John McCain, John Kerry, Kissinger & Co--I name these, although the real power people are much bigger than these 3), to kill and discredit the truth told in "Spite House."
Hell--they already killed the hardback, but are now after the paperback. But why? Same reason "they" murdered "Kiss the Boys Goodbye": they fear the truth that live POWs were left behind. In the case of "Spite House" it is that they are really after Bobby Garwood . Why? Same reason: his detailed knowledge of other American POWs he saw there after '73, and his readiness to tell it. Unlike Frank Anton, who kept his mouth shut to protect his career (he admits this in his book), Bobby has tried to tell since he escaped Hanoi in '79.
But "Spite House" has been out almost 2 years--so why would "they" attack it now? I believe the reason is that they know that we (Artie Muller, Danny Belcher, Paul Gloria and I) are launching an effort to have Bobby's rigged conviction reversed--Mark Smith and I will tell this to the world at Rolling Thunder in May. A second reason, I believe, is that there is a major movie being made about Bobby and me based on "Spite House"; if they can discredit the book, it could kill the movie and keep this truth from the general public. It is significant that Kushner lives in Fla, yet his law firm defending his injured pride is a large, powerful DC firm with ties to the USG. Hmmmm?
But what can you do? Two things: call or write Monika to encourage her; and give me any ugly truth about Kushner and his numerous failures to live up to a soldier's code as a POW. It will help to demonstrate a pattern of his cooperation with the enemy...

posted by y2karl at 9:43 AM on May 30, 2005


Y2karl, I've read what you've quoted, but I'm not sure what you're thinking about it. Are you posting it in agreement, or disagreement?

For example, in one of the sections you've quoted:

y2karl : "All U.S. POWs captured during the Vietnam War were released, either at Operation Homecoming (spring, 1973) or earlier."

While evidence seems plain that Garwood was released after 1973.

Are you trying to poke holes in MIA Facts? Or are you agreeing with them?
posted by Bugbread at 11:36 AM on May 30, 2005


For example, in one of the sections you've quoted:

y2karl : "All U.S. POWs captured during the Vietnam War were released, either at Operation Homecoming (spring, 1973) or earlier."

While evidence seems plain that Garwood was released after 1973.


From the last link above:

Background

The facts of the Garwood case are simple. Garwood was a Marine PFC in Vietnam. He disappeared from his unit in September 1965. Soon afterward, leaflets turned up bearing his signature and a "fellow soldiers appeal" from Garwood, urging other US servicemen to stop fighting against the VC and PAVN. Later, other Americans who had been held prisoner reported their contact with Garwood. He had clearly "gone over" to the enemy. Garwood struck another American who was a POW at the time. Garwood was a snitch for the PAVN; he would talk with US POWs then tell the PAVN what the POWs had said, frequently resulting in extreme punishment for the Americans whom he had betrayed. Garwood was seen by US POWs carrying a weapon and PAVN gear, operating with PAVN units. US personnel in I Corps reported, from time to time, observing a Caucasian operating with PAVN troops and many of them picked out Garwood's photo as the man they had seen. When US POWs were released in 1973, Garwood chose to remain behind. He worked as a member of the staff of the prison camp complex NW of Hanoi where tens of thousands of former South Vietnamese military officers were incarcerated after the Communist takeover of South Vietnam.


I mean, c'mon...
posted by y2karl at 12:07 PM on May 30, 2005


drakepool, it's always a crapshoot in discussing conspiratorialist literature to assume any implications. My impression from your post was that you were not as critical in your analysis as your sources would warrant.

The exploitation of the POW myth is one of the crueler aspects of the right-wing. And the JBS claim that US involvement in Vietnam was part of an internationalist plot to enmesh Ameirca in defeat would be laughable if there weren't so many chumps believing it.

On any of these conspiratorialist subjects, it's going to be very difficult to find a small set of definitive links that capture a fair and accurate analysis. This is due to the intentionally exacerbated level of controversy that is part of the conspiratorialist rhetorical stance.
posted by warbaby at 12:13 PM on May 30, 2005


y2karl : "I mean, c'mon..."

C'mon, y2karl, you know better than to be surprised. When you provide blocks of quotes from a link, it's assumed that you picked the important sections. I doubt many folks bother to click one of the links you provide when you put all the meat of the link right here in the blue.

But thanks for the answer.
posted by Bugbread at 12:26 PM on May 30, 2005


Whatever the specifics of the Garwood case, it's worth noting that y2karl's MIA Facts site offers an unusually credulous reading of the 1993 report of the Senate Select Committee on POW-MIA Affairs that was led by Kerry and McCain. For a sharper and more skeptical view about the ways Kerry and McCain ignored evidence and manipulated the POW/MIA investigation, be sure to read this Feb 2004 Village Voice article from Sydney Schanberg (hardly a John Bircher). A long, but relevant excerpt:

Here are details of a few of the specific steps Kerry took to hide evidence about these P.O.W.'s.

** He gave orders to his committee staff to shred crucial intelligence documents. The shredding stopped only when some intelligence staffers staged a protest. Some wrote internal memos calling for a criminal investigation. One such memo—from John F. McCreary, a lawyer and staff intelligence analyst—reported that the committee's chief counsel, J. William Codinha, a longtime Kerry friend, "ridiculed the staff members" and said, "Who's the injured party?" When staffers cited "the 2,494 families of the unaccounted-for U.S. servicemen, among others," the McCreary memo continued, Codinha said: "Who's going to tell them? It's classified." [...] Kerry had promised the staff that all documents acquired and prepared by the committee would be turned over to the National Archives at the committee's expiration. This didn't happen. Both the staff and independent researchers reported that many critical documents were withheld.

**Another protest memo from the staff reported: "An internal Department of Defense Memorandum identifies Frances Zwenig [Kerry's staff director] as the conduit to the Department of Defense for the acquisition of sensitive and restricted information from this Committee . . . lines of investigation have been seriously compromised by leaks" to the Pentagon and "other agencies of the executive branch." It also said the Zwenig leaks were "endangering the lives and livelihood of two witnesses."

**A number of staffers became increasingly upset about Kerry's close relationship with the Department of Defense, which was supposed to be under examination. (Dick Cheney was then defense secretary.) It had become clear that Kerry, Zwenig, and others close to the chairman, such as Senator John McCain of Arizona, a dominant committee member, had gotten cozy with the officials and agencies supposedly being probed for obscuring P.O.W. information over the years. Committee hearings, for example, were being orchestrated to suit the examinees, who were receiving lists of potential questions in advance. Another internal memo from the period, by a staffer who requested anonymity, said: "Speaking for the other investigators, I can say we are sick and tired of this investigation being controlled by those we are supposedly investigating." [...]

**Kerry also refused to subpoena the Nixon office tapes (yes, the Watergate tapes) from the early months of 1973 when the P.O.W.'s were an intense subject because of the peace talks and the prisoner return that followed. (Nixon had rejected committee requests to provide the tapes voluntarily.) Information had seeped out for years that during the Paris talks and afterward, Nixon had been briefed in detail by then national security advisor Brent Scowcroft and others about the existence of P.O.W.'s whom Hanoi was not admitting to. Nixon, distracted by Watergate, apparently decided it was crucial to get out of the Vietnam mess immediately, even if it cost those lives...

The Kerry committee's final report, issued in January 1993, delivered the ultimate insult to history. The 1,223-page document said there was "no compelling evidence that proves" there is anyone still in captivity.


Completists should also read Schanberg's "Did America Abandon Vietnam War POWs? A Closer Look at an Ugly Issue" (here's part 2). The opening:

It is not conspiracy theory, not paranoid myth, not Rambo fantasy. It is only hard evidence of a national disgrace: American prisoners were left behind at the end of the Vietnam War. They were abandoned because six presidents and official Washington could not admit their guilty secret. They were forgotten because the press and most Americans turned away from all things that reminded them of Vietnam.

Bottom line: There remains a concerned, thoughtful and intelligent position that successive US government officials, all the way up to Kerry and McCain in 1993, have clearly ignored evidence of POWs left behind in Vietnam. Whether it's convincing is something you'll have to decide for yourself. But the MIA Facts site y2karls cites is hardly the best place to go for the truth.
posted by mediareport at 8:04 AM on May 31, 2005


It is not conspiracy theory, not paranoid myth, not Rambo fantasy. It is only hard evidence of a national disgrace: American prisoners were left behind at the end of the Vietnam War. They were abandoned because six presidents and official Washington could not admit their guilty secret. They were forgotten because the press and most Americans turned away from all things that reminded them of Vietnam.

But one man's concerned, thoughtful and intelligent position that successive US government officials, all the way up to Kerry and McCain in 1993, have clearly ignored evidence of POWs left behind in the Vietnam war is another man's conspiracy theory and vice versa. So, between them, two opposed narratives are articulated by two men with strong feelings and opposing viewpoints. Col. Schlatter, in his unusually credulous report, does, however, respond point by point in unusual detail on the radio intercepts. live sightings, satellite imagery and so forth Schanberg lists in mediareport's links. Caveat lector.
posted by y2karl at 8:55 AM on May 31, 2005


Col. Schlatter...does, however, respond point by point in unusual detail on the radio intercepts. live sightings, satellite imagery and so forth Schanberg lists in mediareport's links.

That is simply not true, y2karl. I'm astonished that you've looked carefully at both sets of arguments and find Schlatter's more credible than Schanberg's. Schlatter not only fails to respond to many of the points Schanberg raises, but routinely relies on ad hominem attacks and arguments from authority ("I know; you don't") to discredit opponents. Schanberg doesn't. That should be your first big red flag. The next three points are long and detailed, so anyone who doesn't care should bail out now. But I think it's important to explain why exactly I find Schlatter's approach to the evidence somewhat repugnant and Schanberg's more convincing.

1) Where is Schlatter's rebuttal of Schanberg's account of Committee investigators' reports of Pentagon stonewalling on documents? Start by finding "Ptak" on this page and continue to the section titled, "Agency cleared itself." Here's a key bit:

Tellingly, though, the committee staffers came across transcripts of electronic messages from within the Pentagon that confirmed what they already suspected. The purpose of the stalling was to allow the Pentagon to go through the requested files and sanitize them — that is, take out all the sensitive papers. One such internal message said: "Purpose here is to give Ptak/Ross time to review the roughly 25 percent of ... material [the committee] has not seen." [...]

The day turned into months and still no documents. On September 8, 1992, Senator Bob Smith of New Hampshire, who has led the fight in Congress against the cover-up, sent off a strong and detailed "eyes-only" letter to Defense Secretary Richard Cheney. In it he cited the document stonewalling by the officials and said, "One can only presume their reason was to gain time to screen the remaining files for certain documents they, apparently, did not wish the committee to see." Smith called it "a serious breach" of Cheney's stated full-access policy and demanded that something be done.

Cheney forwarded the letter to the I.S.A. office, thus giving the job of explaining away the stonewalling to the very office responsible for it. [...]

"We never did see that 25 percent of the files", a committee investigator said afterward. "They shoved files at us and said it was everything, but it was stuff we had already seen. It was outrageous. We never did get to see a single Weekly Activity Report or Breakfast item".


I'm unable to find any rebuttal of this at Schlatter's site. Please let me know if I've overlooked it.

2) I'm unable to find any rebuttal from Schaltter to this part of Schanberg's ground-marking/distress signal argument:

But time and again, when these numbers or letters or names have shown up on the satellite digital imagery, the Pentagon, backed by the C.I.A., insisted out of hand that humans had not made these markings. What were they, then? Nothing but shadows and vegetation, said the government, and normal contours like rice-paddy walls. Whether the satellite picked up letters or numbers or names, the dismissive answer was always the same. Officials of the Defense Intelligence Agency would say, in what seemed an automatic response, "Shadows and vegetation. Shadows and vegetation."

After hearing this refrain for months, one Senate investigator, Bob Taylor, a highly regarded intelligence analyst who had examined the photo evidence, finally commented in sardonic dissent, "If grass can spell out people's names and a secret digit code then I have a newfound respect for grass."


I find no mention, let alone rebuttal, of Taylor's statement at Schlatter's site. But he does use Taylor to help debunk someone else as a mythmaker.

3) When Schlatter righteously denounces accusations of a late-1980s shredding incident as "Another loony myth" and "Bullshit" with yet another argument from authority ("We determined that almost every document that was in Bangkok also had copies in DIA and in Hawaii"), he's clearly *not* offering a rebuttal of the evidence of document destruction described in detail in Schanberg's piece (scroll to "Missing airmen, special codes;" again, if I missed a rebuttal, y2karl, please let me know). A lengthy quote:

One such case involved certain letters that had emerged from Laos in the late 1980s and reached the Department of Defense at about the same time. They were reportedly written by three missing airmen — John Robertson, Larry Stevens, and Albro Lundy.

The letters drew particular attention at the Pentagon because they appeared to be written in code. According to documents, including memoirs written by former POWs, a number of the airmen who flew combat in Vietnam had been trained in special coding methods as a survival technique, should they be captured...When the Robertson, Stevens, and Lundy letters came in, as revealed in archival records, they were given to the special Pentagon unit trained to decipher codes and other "authentication" techniques the missing men might use. Upon examining the letters, the experts in this unit concluded that they contained signs of special coding. They said they had found a number of "striking correlations" consistent with the conclusion that the letters were likely the work of American POWs. But the only way to decode the messages was to have access to those special files — and the files were held by the D.I.A.

The special Pentagon unit requested Lundy's file, since he was the only one of the three trained in these procedures and could have trained the other two. The answer came back that Lundy's file had been destroyed. The unit could proceed no further...

[S]taffers on the Senate POW committee learned of this and began asking questions of the Pentagon. Why, they asked, had Lundy's file been purged? The Pentagon replied that a number of those folders had been destroyed one by one over the course of the Vietnam War, as airmen periodically were declared K.I.A./B.N.R. — Killed in action/Body not recovered. One reason the Pentagon gave for this action was to clear some space in its overburdened file system.

The committee staffers, digging deeper, discovered that the files had not been destroyed one by one, but all at the same time. And his purge occurred not during the war but in 1975, two years after the American military role had ended with the Paris peace accords. "It was bullshit. They destroyed them all on one day," said one source.

The staffers also determined that the Pentagon's story — that the only files destroyed were those of men who had been declared Killed in action/Body not recovered — did not stand up under examination. A number of men who had been written off in that category were, to the Pentagon's surprise, among those prisoners returned in 1973. Their files had not only not been destroyed before 1973, but they are still kept by the Pentagon. Also, the files of men who were known definitively to have died in captivity were never destroyed. Their files, too, still exist.

Thus, astonishingly, the only files the Pentagon destroyed were those of men who were still missing in action and unaccounted for after 1973...

Unless the Pentagon was trying to hide its dishonor over leaving men behind, why would it destroy the files of men still unaccounted for and preserve files of men who have returned? [...]

"The destruction of those files was devastating," said a source, "because it wiped out any ability to confirm the authenticity of any coded letters or messages that might have come out since 1973 or might come out in the future." In short, if a POW tried to signal his existence now, using such coded messages, it would be useless.


Those are the kind of differences in approach that lead me to call Schlatter's MIA Facts site "unusually credulous." I encourage you, y2karl, to look again carefully at both discussions before presenting Schlatter's as definitive, and look forward to your corrections on anything I've missed or misrepresented here.
posted by mediareport at 7:55 PM on May 31, 2005


I am pretty undecided about this issue, but I find it amazing that y2karl, who seems to spend an unseemly amount of time attacking government lies and deception, is suddenly taking the government at its word, no questions asked.
posted by mokujin at 11:29 PM on May 31, 2005


I find this subject rather compelling as I've always thought the idea that the idea of still-held Vietnam-era POWs to be a binding point for displaced feelings regarding KIA/BNR and the horrors of internment.

Areas of obfuscation aside, what is the US motivation here for a decades-long, administration and party-spanning coverup?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:35 PM on June 1, 2005


The rationale, as generally proferred, is political expediency and a desire to put the whole sordid thing behind us. The Vietnam war dirtied both parties and if it were discovered that anyone was left behind it would hurt both parties. There seems to me to be good evidence that, in Laos at least, some people were left behind. How many, and for how long is a different question entirely.
posted by mokujin at 6:18 PM on June 1, 2005


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