The War Behind Me is based on signed statements by soldiers who did or saw war crimes
Deborah Nelson aimed to "set the record straight for history" with "The War Behind Me" - Vietnam War book based on sworn statements signed by soldiers who either committed or witnessed war crimes in the 1960s and 1970s. These official documents kept some of the truths of the Vietnam War a secret for 30 years. And while conducting research for her book, she unveiled shocking confessions of witnesses, victims and suspects that detailed the horrors that took place during the war. The book focuses on a bloody massacre in which a U.S. Army unit massacred a group of civilians in Feb. 1968, but participants were never punished or prosecuted. [Buy from Amazon: US, UK, CA, DE, FR]
Mai Van On, wartime rescuer of John McCain, dies a forgotten hero
Of all the stories of wartime courage peppering John McCain, there is one example of valour that stands out. Only in this story the hero is a Vietnamese peasant. On Oct. 26, 1967, Mai Van On ran from the safety of a bomb shelter in Hanoi during an air raid and swam out into the lake where McCain was drowning, tangled in his parachute cord after ejecting from his Skyhawk bomber. In an extraordinary act of compassion at a time when Vietnamese were being killed by US bombardments, he pulled McCain to the surface and dragged him towards the shore. And when a angry mob began to beat the captured pilot, On drove them back.
Released 1968 LBJ tapes show him fretting over the Vietnam war (Article no longer available from the original source)
Politically crippled by the Vietnam War, President Lyndon B. Johnson still sounded like a candidate for re-election in 1968 telephone conversations just before pulling out of the race. Laced throughout the talks were his statements about the Vietnam War and the criticism he faced both from hawks and doves. "It's a hell of a calculation to know what is enough and what is too much." With Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, he discussed Army General William Westmoreland's call for 6 more battalions that would have taken the troop level beyond the 525,000 ceiling. Johnson said he didn't have time to oversee the Vietnam War while "chasing through primaries..."
"My Lai" is synonymous with "massacre" - The secret tapes
My Lai is shorthand for slaughter of the defenceless, the benchmark of American wartime atrocity. The murders of 504, mostly women and babies, happened on 16 March 1968. Lieutenant William Calley was tried and declared guilty of murdering 22 "oriental human beings." Media attention was so intense that it hid the more awful truth. Before that trial got under way, the U.S. army had secretly completed a probe of its own. Over 400 witnesses were interviewed, and tape-recorded. Those recordings were boxed-up, stored and forgotten. Until recently, anyone trying to locate them was told they didn't exists.
US faked attacks to escalate the war, Vietcong made hoax calls
North Vietnamese made hoax calls to get the US military to bomb its own formations during the Vietnam War. Declassified files also confirmed that US falsified an incident to escalate the war. The report was released by the NSA, responsible for the US' codebreaking, in answer to a "mandatory declassification" request, the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) said. From the first intercepted cable (a 1945 message from Ho Chi Minh to Joseph Stalin) to the evacuation of US spies from Saigon, the 500-page report retold Vietnam War history. North Vietnamese units in certain cases succeeded in penetrating US codes, and they could monitor US message traffic.
Nixon, Kissinger Found Vietnam War Unwinnable
A book on U.S. President Richard Nixon and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said the two men thought the Vietnam War was "impossible" to win. But while admitting to each other that the war was not possible to win, they also agreed to label the Democrats "the party of surrender" for wanting to pull out of Vietnam, said historian Robert Dallek in "Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power." "In Saigon the tendency is to fight the war to victory, but you and I know it won't happen - it is impossible," Nixon told Kissinger as early as 1969.
Declassified Army papers: Torture by 173rd Airborne Brigade
In early 1973, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Creighton Abrams received some bad news: An inquiry had confirmed an officer`s publicized charge that members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade had tortured detainees. Military interrogators in the 173rd Airborne beat prisoners and tortured them with electric shocks. Soldiers in one unit told that their captain approved of such methods and was sometimes present. In one case, a detainee who had been beaten suffered convulsions, lost consciousness and later died. 29 members of the 173rd Airborne were suspects in confirmed cases. 15 admitted the acts. Only 3 were punished.
Once-secret records confirm reports of killings and torture
The men of B Company were in a dangerous state of mind. They had lost five men in a firefight the day before. The morning of Feb. 8, 1968, brought orders to resume their sweep. They met no resistance as they entered a settlement in Quang Nam province. So Jamie Henry set his rifle down in a hut. Just then, a lieutenant`s voice crackled across the radio. He had rounded up 19 civilians and wanted to know what to do with them. Henry recalled the company commander`s response: "Kill anything that moves." Henry stepped outside and saw a crowd of women and children. Then the shooting began. Moments later, the 19 villagers lay dead or dying.
Nixon Wanted to use nuclear weapons in Vietnam War
President Nixon, eager to end an unpopular war that killed tens of thousands of U.S. troops, considered using nuclear weapons against the North Vietnamese, recently declassified documents reveal. National security adviser Henry Kissinger began developing contingency military plans under the code name of "Duck Hook." He also created a committee within the National Security Council to evaluate secret plans prepared by Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington and military planners in Saigon. A pair of documents raised the question of nuclear weapons use in connection with the military operation.
US Betrayal of Troops Who Died In Vietnam
Newly-released documents have suggested the US was willing to accept a communist Vietnam - even at the height of its bloody war to prevent a Red takeover. Henry Kissinger acknowledged to China in 1972 that Washington could accept a communist takeover of South Vietnam if it happened after a withdrawal of US troops. At the time of his comments the war to drive back the North Vietnamese communists was resulting in mounting deaths for US forces and their Vietnamese allies. The increasing casualties were seeing increasing opposition to the war from the American public.