Please, read the whole thing



Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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7 Responses

  1. Avatar Ed Marshall says:

    My dad is a Vietnam vet, he was a crew chief on a Huey near the end of the war, and this is his baby for issues. Probably ten years ago, I started trying to help him and fill out FOIA requests and track this stuff down. What’s left in that article is the best case for the betrayed POW’s, but when I believed in it there were ten hoaxers for every real piece of evidence.

    I’ve got a friend who had a sister disappear in the dirty war in Argentina and her father bankrupted himself with people calling him and telling him they were the mafia in Italy and they knew were his daughter was and he would pay them a bunch of money and nothing would happen. Another group of people claimed that his daughter was held by the shining path in Peru and if he would cough up money they would arrange her release. It turned out she was thrown out of a helicopter less than ten miles from his house and buried in a lake the whole time.

    I think a really similar dynamic is what keeps the Vietnam POW hope alive.Report

  2. Avatar scott says:

    I’ll remember this every time I hear the Viet Cong whine about Agent Orange.Report

    • Avatar Ed Marshall in reply to scott says:


      I hope you remember Americans, I remember being five and sitting around the VA with an orange bracelet on with a bunch of other kids that ranged from hydrocephalic to just off. We were the agent orange babies.

      I’m not really ready to believe the POW conspiracy, but agent orange is quite real. My father was a tool and die maker before he went to Vietnam, when he got back the solvents would literally eat the skin off his hands.Report

  3. Avatar bailey says:

    Gore Vidal, prescient for 7 decades, is well aware of facts at this time/ not only did he sing like a bird, he should have been brought to trial/arrested/something/anything for his incompetency at flying, downing as many planes as he did, before getting ‘caught’…this is all so ironic, sad.Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    With no first-hand knowledge of the situation, I have no basis for deciding between Schanberg’s piece and Porter’s debunking.Report

  5. Avatar A.R.Yngve says:

    In order to make soldiers do what they are supposed to do — war is, after all, a nasty, dangerous and often unpredictable business — at all times in human history they have been lied to by their leaders, to lull them into false confidence.

    The standard lies told to soldiers are:

    1. “You will not die or get seriously injured/crippled” (read: if you’re lucky or can find a way to stay out of real combat);
    2. “If you die or kill others, it’s all in a good cause” (very rarely true… and isn’t it death and killing all the same?);
    3. “Our side would never hurt/kill/massacre civilians” (and if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you);
    … and of course, the perennial lie which really ought to be called “When You’re Dying With Your Guts Lying On The Ground And Crying For Mother, She Will Magically Appear On The Battlefield”:
    4. “No one is left behind” (…in movies, that is).Report