A Murder in Wartime

A Murder in Wartime

The Untold Spy Story That Changed the Course of the Vietnam War

Book - 1992
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Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 1992.
ISBN: 9780312070373
Characteristics: xiii, 414 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill., ports. ;,24 cm.


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Oct 07, 2016

I don't recall the US flap around this incident, though I do remember My Lai, which broke the month after these charges were dropped. This book gives all the details of "The Green Beret Case." A group of 8 GB had a colleague from North Vietnam attached to their unit, who they suspected was a spy. What to do about him? They made a pact to keep what they did private, but like everything else in Vietnam, it leaked. The Army brass and the CIA got involved, they were arrested, put in solitary confinement on murder charges. A secret military hearing was held, but that leaked too. Back in the world, Congress threatened an investigation, which would have exposed both the military and CIA involvement. Nixon and Kissinger also worried about exposure of the secret bombing of Cambodia, scheduled to begin soon. Though Nixon was able to hide his involvement at the time, by his orders the case was dropped, and the men involved were released and brought home to heroes' welcomes. Much research, though years later, went into this book--the Freedom of Information Act allowed access to all the paperwork, and the author interviewed everyone still alive who would talk to him. My problem with it is that many aspects of the case are repeated ad nauseum--when they happen, when someone involved tells his version of the story to someone else, when he gives his evidence in the hearing, etc. That actually makes the story harder to follow, not easier. This book is important for the light it throws on wars the US has fought since Vietnam, and since the book was written. Waterboarding, Abu Ghraib, other abuses that haven't come to light. War is always hell, but could we have learned more from the Green Beret case if it had been analyzed more openly?

Jun 04, 2016

Great research and insight into the Green Beret trial of 1969 that was later dismissed.

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