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American Pravda: Will There be a Spotlight Sequel to The Killing Fields?
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The Best Picture winner at this year’s Academy Awards was Spotlight, which seemed an excellent choice to me. That powerful ensemble performance showed a handful of daring investigative reporters at The Boston Globe taking on the political and cultural establishment of their city, breaking the story of how the Catholic Church had long shielded its numerous pedophile priests. The focus was less on the scandal itself and more on the obstacles faced by the journalists, including the widespread disbelief that a cover-up so vast could have remained in place for so long.

A couple of decades earlier, a college friend of mine then living in DC would occasionally regale me with stories of the bizarre lunatics he encountered in his neighborhood. There was one gentleman who regularly occupied a particular street corner with a home-made sign, declaring that he had been sexually molested by a Catholic priest and denouncing his church for protecting such individuals by concealing their abuses. Sometimes all that separates the discounted ravings of street madmen and a long series of international headlines is merely the willingness of a few bold journalists to ask some probing questions.

These thoughts came to mind as I read the various public tributes to Sydney Schanberg, whose distinguished journalistic history came to its end a few weeks ago. Naturally, the majority of the coverage focused on the years he had risked his life during the war in Cambodia, since those had led to his Pulitzer Prize, and later gained him permanent fame in the Oscar-winning film The Killing Fields. But his career spanned more than half a century, of which only a few years were spent overseas as a foreign correspondent, and in many respects those other, later years provide a story every bit as interesting, and perhaps even more relevant today, given the ills that currently plague our society. The plot lacks an uplifting happy ending, but that just makes the tale a more realistic one.

Soon after his return from Cambodia and his Pulitzer Prize, he was named Metropolitan Editor at the New York Times, with one-third of all the newspaper’s journalists serving under him. But just a few years later, he was gone, and his lengthy Times obituary devoted only a couple of sentences to his post-Cambodia years at the newspaper, though his longtime friend Charles Kaiser provided far more of the details in a recent Vanity Fair piece.

In one of our conversations, Syd casually mentioned that although major newspapers are very eager to uncover corrupt practices in distant lands such as Afghanistan or Bosnia, they are less happy when their employees undertake similar efforts closer to home, especially in their own city. And although I never pressed him to clarify what he meant, I sensed he was speaking from personal experience.

According to my late friend Alex Cockburn, the long-time Press Clips media critic at The Village Voice, Schanberg’s focus on the more sordid aspects of his newspaper’s editorial support for the West Side highway project eventually outraged top management, leading to his removal. He had spent 26 years at the Times and the 1984 triumph of The Killing Fields had established him as one of the world’s most famous journalists, perhaps only trailing Woodward and Bernstein of Watergate fame; but in August 1985 he was supposedly escorted from his desk out the front door in the course of a single day.[See below]

Even while still at the Times, he had grown concerned at the decline of journalistic rectitude in the face of financial temptations, such as the growing possibilities for vast wealth opening to those newsmen who seized a lucky opportunity while never rocking the political boat. For example, he once told me the story of a newly hired network news anchor, just arrived in New York City, who joined a group of prominent local journalists for lunch. The newscaster’s entire conversational focus was on the remarkably luxurious interiors of some of the Upper East Side co-op apartments he’d recently seen on a visit, and the chance he himself might have to live in such splendor. The anecdote was prompted by the case of a different network anchor, ABC‘s Peter Jennings, who’d spent his entire career in the news business but managed to leave an estate worth \$50 million to his heirs, an outcome that an old-fashioned reporter might view as unseemly.

Certainly, the remaining thirty years of Schanberg’s own career demonstrated a very different lodestar. For years he had received reports from his military contacts of American POWs still held after the end of the Vietnam War, but his beat was the domestic politics of New York City and State, so he turned those tips over to his Times colleagues, who made little effort to energetically investigate them. However, once the Senate POW Committee hearings began in 1991, he immersed himself in the issue, eventually publishing dozens of columns and articles on the topic over the next couple of years.

The great irony was that although the hearings actually caused the release of a vast quantity of new evidence, much of it strongly supporting the case for the abandoned POWs, the American political establishment instead seized the opportunity to end the nagging controversy by declaring the POWs a myth and the issue closed once and for all, with nearly our entire mainstream media following their lead. Thus, Schanberg began pursuing the massive scandal at exactly the point at which the American media had suddenly lost almost all interest, and he spent the remainder of his life doggedly pursuing a topic that caused him to receive what he later called the “Silent Treatment.”



Schanberg’s story might surely make a very powerful film or documentary, demonstrating the darker realities of contemporary American journalism, but only if the huge hidden scandal that he had spent a quarter century seeking to reveal were actually true. The evidence of the abandoned POWs seems overwhelming to me, but I am hardly an expert on Vietnam, and must simply weigh the facts and opinions presented by others.

For example, a few years ago Schanberg’s journalistic integrity and excellence were hailed by Joseph Galloway, an award-winning military affairs writer specializing in the history of the Vietnam War, who included this appraisal:

More recently, Schanberg’s was among the few voices calling to account two U.S. senators, John McCain and John Kerry, both Vietnam veterans, for manipulating the findings of a special Senate committee to cover up the truth: that the Nixon White House, directed by President Nixon and his war planner, Henry Kissinger, left hundreds of living American POWs behind in the hands of their captors when we evacuated Vietnam.

On the other hand, I also recently discovered a totally contrary view advanced by Rick Perlstein, a highly-regarded author of books on the conservative political culture of the Goldwater and Nixon Eras, who denounced belief in the abandoned POWs as a ideological myth born of rightwing paranoia, tainted with sharp racialist sentiment. He favorably cited the views of H. Bruce Franklin, a Maoist cultural historian, whose 1991 analysis I have already rejected as factually shallow, but he more heavily quoted from the conclusions of mainstream historian Michael J. Allen, whose work Until the Last Man Comes Home he described as “the definitive book on the subject.”

Through the modern miracle of, Allen’s book was soon in my hands, and I spent a day or two carefully reading it, hoping to decide how effectively the author refuted the factual claims of Schanberg and others.

In most respects, Until the Last Man Comes Home seems a fine work of academic scholarship, well-written, published by a university press, and featuring glowing blurbs from other historians. The main text runs 300 pages with over 100 additional pages of footnotes and bibliography, along with a lengthy index. But when I turned to that index, the name “Sydney Schanberg” was nowhere to be found.

The absence of any reference to the most prestigious figure in the pro-POW camp troubled me, but I explained it away. After all, Schanberg’s remarkable 8,000 word expose on the POW cover-up had been rejected by every mainstream publication and had only been released on a website in late 2008, perhaps after the Allen’s 2009 book had already gone to press, while nearly all his numerous earlier pieces from the early 1990s had either run as newspaper columns or otherwise appeared outside of mainstream outlets. Allen may have just disregarded these as superseded by later analysis.

However, the next lapse I discovered seemed completely inexcusable. The most comprehensive recent presentation of the pro-POW case is surely An Enormous Crime by former U.S. Rep. Bill Hendon, who also worked as a Pentagon intelligence analyst specializing in POW issues and as an investigator for the Senate POW Committee. Given Hendon’s background, he seems well suited to provide an inside perspective on the topic, and his 600 page volume exhaustively documents the factual details and entire history surrounding the alleged abandonment of the POWs, providing a cornucopia of evidence, much of it seemingly persuasive. The hardcover edition was released in Spring 2007 by an imprint of Macmillan, a mainstream publishing house, but although Allen’s very extensive bibliography lists some 250 books, Hendon’s is not one of them. Refuting Hendon’s arguments is one thing, but simply ignoring them is quite another.

As I started to read the actual Allen text, I better understood why including those missing works might have constituted a problematical distraction from the central flow of Allen’s narrative. Although Allen thoroughly explores the political, ideological, social, cultural, psychological, and historical aspects of the Vietnam POW movement, he devotes relatively little attention to the factual question itself: did the abandoned POWs actually exist? Page after page is given over to the complex internal politics and interpersonal disputes of the various POW activist groups, but it would also be nice to be able to decide whether their basic beliefs had indeed had merit.

Consider, for example, the claim that soon after Reagan took office in early 1981, Canada passed along a diplomatic overture by Hanoi offering to return the remaining American POWs they held in exchange for a payment of \$4 billion, representing the cash they had been secretly promised in the original peace agreement but never received. Schanberg devotes several long paragraphs to this vital piece of evidence, and Hendon’s book gives it four full pages. Together, these sources provide the names of several former government officials attesting to the reality of this crucial incident, including with sworn testimony, but it receives no mention whatsoever in Allen’s book. On the other hand, Allen does devote nearly a dozen pages to the American Civil War and the stories of the missing soldiers and POWs in that 19th century conflict.

Going down the list of the major evidentiary findings provided by Schanberg, few of them are mentioned, let alone effectively refuted by Allen, who seems equally ignorant of the 600 pages of material provided by Hendon. If one side in an ongoing historical debate provides a vast quantity of seemingly persuasive evidence, while the other side simply avoids the argument, what conclusions should be drawn by a fair-minded outside observer? Attempting to debunk a controversial hypothesis by ignoring all the most powerful “smoking guns” then casually dismissing the remaining evidence as merely circumstantial is unlikely to persuade any neutral third-party who is provided the two opposing arguments. Perhaps this explains why the mainstream media has been so reluctant to offer space to both sides of the POW argument, and has instead declared the entire matter “Case Closed.”


Allen’s apparent unwillingness to pursue leads found in non-mainstream publications may have caused him to miss important and persuasive evidence. For example, he correctly emphasizes that Sen. John McCain played an absolutely pivotal role at the Senate POW Committee Hearings: he was only former POW among the members and also the most ferocious opponent of the POW activists. Indeed, Allen argues that McCain alone possessed the “moral authority” to defeat the POW advocates in the important arena of public opinion. Then, near the very end of his book, Allen separately mentions “the furious smear campaign” McCain later endured at the hands of some of those activists and veterans groups, who accused him of wartime treason and all sorts of other moral failings, but dismisses these charges as the unsubstantiated attacks of extremists, who typified their ideological movement.

This might seem a plausible analysis, but additional facts change the picture. In an article last year, I pointed out that there seems to be overwhelming evidence that McCain did indeed spend his time as a POW doing enemy propaganda broadcasts for Hanoi, which would surely mark him as a “traitor,” and that he very likely later invented his tales of torture as a preemptive defense against the risk of a court martial upon his return. McCain’s wartime behavior was apparently quite well known in POW circles, and a short wire story in a 1969 edition of Stars and Stripes magazine described his radio broadcasts on behalf of his Communist captors. Indeed, I now possess a recently located audio file of one of McCain’s wartime Hanoi broadcasts, which seems absolutely genuine to me.

The former top-ranking officials of the Nixon Administration and their Pentagon allies were obviously the persons most eager to expunge the widespread popular belief that they had abandoned American POWs, and these same individuals surely not only knew of McCain’s true wartime record, but also possessed the hard evidence to prove it and destroy him politically. These hidden facts may easily explain why McCain acted as such a ferocious bulldog at the hearings, regularly denouncing both his opposing senatorial colleagues and even the relatives of unreturned POWs in extremely harsh and personal terms. Under such a reconstruction, the senator’s “moral authority” may have been considerably less than what Allen assumes.

There are times when a concerted alliance of powerful American elites are determined to establish a particular narrative history of events, facts be damned, and under such circumstances the mainstream media often serves as their handmaiden. A massive and perfectly-timed cover story in The Atlantic Monthly, sharply slanted coverage in major newspapers, and selective statements by influential public officials may have succeeded in achieving this during the Senate POW Committee hearings. And once such an official narrative has been established, later editors may easily be persuaded that any attempts to reopen the issue are either just “old news” or instead are based on wild “conspiracy theories,” long since debunked. Under such circumstances, even an individual of Sydney Schanberg’s stellar journalistic reputation may find it impossible to break through these thick walls of silence.

Meanwhile, Michael J. Allen may be a perfectly fine young scholar, but he was apparently still untenured at the time this book, his first, appeared in print, and I suspect his academic career path would have become considerably more difficult if he had suggested factual conclusions totally divergent from those of nearly the entire American political and media establishment.

These sorts of practical realities must be considered whenever we analyze controversial topics upon which our elite establishment has already proclaimed its definitive and final verdict. Principled journalists and historians may seek to speak truth to power, but the converse may be a more typical outcome.

[Correction: I have been reliably informed that elements of Alex Cockburn’s account of the circumstances surrounding Sydney Schanberg’s departure from The New York Times were seriously mistaken. Although his Times column was cancelled, he was actually offered another position at the paper by the publisher, but preferred to leave instead and soon began writing a column for NY Newsday, where he remained for the next ten years.]

For Further Reading:

The American Pravda Series
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  1. Well?

    The budget for ‘Spotlight’ was \$20 million. Not an insurmountable amount.

  2. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    I think Uncommon Valor was the a slightly more sober save-the-Pow movie.

    Didn’t see it though.

    Jacob’s Ladder is not one of the most harrowing psychological-war-movies.

  3. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    I wonder if Iran Hostage Crisis had something to do with the Vietnam POW thing.

    I recall US tried every means not to pay Iran to get the Hostages back. Carter even went for a desperate helicopter rescue operation.

    It had nothing to do with the money. US has plenty of money. The problem was precedent and of course pride.
    If US paid Iran for hostages, then it would send a message to all the world that they could just hold US hostages and make demands and humiliate the giant into caving to demands.
    This was during the Cold War when there was a chance of major US military involvement in possible wars.
    If US paid money for POWS, then if US got involved in another war down the line, its POWS could also held for ransom.

    In the end, US did pay the money and got the hostages back in the case of Iran. But US was badly humiliated. US was happy to get the hostages back, but Iran won the contest of wills.
    After paying money for hostages with Iran, the idea of paying money to get Vietnam POWs back would have been more humiliation.
    But had there been no Iran hostage crisis, maybe things might have been different.

    But the idea of US paying to get POWS back after the Iran Hostage fiasco, esp during the Cold War, might have been too much for US prestige, pride, and power.
    (Reagan’s administration did go for hostages-for-missiles deal with Iran, but that almost brought down Reagan, esp because sleazos also tried to tie it to funding Contras.)

  4. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Unz, release the McCain tapes. Please!

    You don’t need to do it on this site if you are worried about being sued, but please upload it somewhere and have an Anonymous commenter link to it in the comments.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  5. Off-topic but I would really like it if you would retire the mobile drag-and-drop, which I can’t seem to disable, and which prevents me from reading articles. I find the feature useless anyway, and I was not able to click on this article from the front page. I went to another page and then clicked on the article from the side column. I also had trouble zooming in and out in the drag drop area on the front page.

  6. McCain was long a favorite of the MSM, a Republican maverick who espoused some favorite tenets of “liberalism” and whose war hero status enabled anti-war journalists to demonstrate bipartisanship and a willingness to let “bygones-be-bygones. The campaign to end the Vietnam War and bury the Nixon Administration had increasingly little to do with ingrained bias against conservatives per se. So it’s easy to imagine wanting to give McCain a pass when he reassured all that belief in the continued presence of POWs in Indochina was conspiracy lunacy. What is still worth exploring is why he would be so opposed to acknowledging their existence, assuming he indeed believed in such.

    More difficult to accept, as I suggested in my 2 responses to Ron’s article last week, is a Kissinger/Nixon cover-up motivated by a desire to hide an unfulfilled US commitment to North Vietnam, a commitment that the latter could use to justify retention of POWs.

    Ron’s point about flattery of journalists and the risks to objective reporting reminds me of an amusing incident when I was working at CBS News in Paris in July 1971 and Kissinger (HK) ostentatiously dined out with visiting CBS producer, Margaret Osmerm. Days later, the White House officially announced that HK had been on his way home from a secret mission to China where he laid plans for the historic Nixon visit and official diplomatic relations. As Osmerm told us in the office, HK had rejected her proposal for dinner at a Paris Chinese restaurant on the grounds that he had enough Chinese food lately. “I should have taken the hint,” she laughed afterwards. There was no compromise of journalistic ethics here, of course, but it is a reminder that HK was something of a superstar back then, and his relations with the media that later turned on him were still quite cozy.

    The other reason for the restaurant ruse, as Winston Lord (HK’s confident and special advisor) later explained, was that HK had just begun secret negotiations parallel to the Paris Peace talks, ones that eventually led to the end of the US war in Vietnam and the controversial “promise” to provide aid to Hanoi. According to Lord:

    “Kissinger, for cover reasons, went out to a restaurant…Everyone knew about that. In fact, he had a woman named Margaret Osmer … as his date… the press berated Kissinger, asking why he didn’t meet with Le Duc Tho while he was in Paris, to see if he could make some progress with the North Vietnamese, instead of going out with some good-looking blonde to a Paris restaurant. No one knew about the secret negotiations. Of course, this was a cover story for Kissinger, because we had met with Le Duc Tho earlier in the day.”

    I wrote in my earlier response that the Agreement signed a year-and-a-half later publicly acknowledged a commitment to help Hanoi as well as Saigon. Winston Lord again:

    “In terms of U.S. economic aid referred to in the Paris Agreement, Hanoi never got it. We had told them two things. First, we told them that we had to get Congressional approval to provide economic aid to Hanoi. Secondly, North Vietnam would have to observe the Paris Agreement. There was some controversy as to whether we had made a commitment to provide aid to North Vietnam.

    We made it clear to Hanoi that we couldn’t provide aid to North Vietnam without Congressional approval, and we had already told the Congress that. Many Members of Congress didn’t like the idea of providing any assistance to Hanoi. They also didn’t like the fact that we had made promises to provide such aid secretly, even though we had hedged the promise by stating that we needed Congressional approval to provide it.

    That created further controversy, which was worsened by the fact that from the very beginning Hanoi began to violate the Paris Accord of 1973. These violations were fairly blatant, and then the North Vietnamese escalated the situation by blatantly breaking the ceasefire agreement. Under these circumstances, we weren’t about to give aid to North Vietnam, which we couldn’t get out of Congress anyway. So that incentive for Hanoi was rapidly withering away.”

    I followed these issues fairly closely both in Paris and later as a newscast writer at Radio Free Europe in Munich. The commitment to help Hanoi with reconstruction was part of the January 27 1973 Agreement immediately made public. Winston Lord’s summary tracks with events known to us, as well as with some of the more detailed documentation in Nixon’s February 1st 1973 “secret letter,” publicized in 1977, about the amount of assistance over the following 5 years, i.e. to be paid by 1978.

    The timeline is important because Nixon was bogged down by the Watergate burglary, committed by minions who were convicted on February 7, 1973, days after the Paris Peace Agreement was signed, and he was thrown out of office ca. 18 months later. With everything falling apart around him and Kissinger, especially the North’s ongoing conquest of the South, I doubt the two would be deliberately reticent about accusing Hanoi of any additional fouls, such as holding additional POWs, which was never a part of the public Agreement or “secret” letter. The US media overwhelming hated Nixon. (Every CBS correspondent passing through the Paris bureau made that clear, as did my jubilant night shift journalist colleagues in Munich as we watched his resignation speech at my home TV after work). But as anti-Nixon as the mood was, few would have expected timely payments to be made to Hanoi for “reconstruction” as it was “deconstructing” the South.

    In other words, Hanoi had little credible leverage for blackmail based on a US failure to pay a conditionally “promised” \$3.25 billion in reconstruction money. Hanoi leaders may have considered themselves to be in the right, as their demand for the original sum plus (apparent) interest indicates. Ron Unz and Schanberg reasonably interpret this as Hanoi’s tacit admission that it still held POWs. But the motive for knowing about but denying the continued existence of POWs, assuming this was the case, should be explored among those who held power in the years after Nixon and to a large extent Kissinger had become establishment pariahs. McCain was part of that new power structure. The Unz/Schanberg focus on that possibility makes more sense.

  7. Rehmat says:
    @Priss Factor

    Carter’s ‘Operation Eagle Claw’ met its Vietnam in an Iranian Desert. The pilots panicked and three of the eight helicopters were lost in the desert sand storm (a Divine intervention, perhaps). The surviving crew and the soldiers returned to the base at Masirah without taking along 8 of the bodies of dead US soldiers. Tehran had no clue of this failed operation until some Iranian civilian travelling through that area spotted the wreckage and informed the authorities in the nearby town.

    Tehran released the remaining American embassy staff in January 1981 after Washington and Tehran reached an accord including release of frozen Iranian assests (US\$14 billion). However, after the American arrived to safety – Washington backed off on its release of Iranian money assets promise. Those Iranian assests could be more than US\$30 billion by now. Later, Tehran handed over the bodies of eight American soldiers for burial in the US.

    Professor Robert Wright (Trent University, Canada) in his book “Our Man in Tehran” – exposes Canadian Ambassador in Tehran (1977-80), Kenneth Taylor, who during 1979 Islamic Revolution worked as CIA boss. The contents of the book were approved by Ken Taylor before its publication. Ken Taylor in an interview with Toronto daily ‘The Globe And Mail’ (January 23, 2010) admitted that he was “made d facto CIA station chief’ in a secret deal between US president Jimmy Carter and Canadian prime minister Joe Clark. After the Islamic Revolution (1979) Ken actively spied for the Americans and helped them to stage the failed armed incursion in Islamic Iran.

  8. The hyperlink to the interview with Winston Lord may not have shown up. Here it is again:

  9. Rehmat says:

    I bet Ron, the Israeli propaganda mouthpiece never dared to publish the story of the “Most Jewish Catholic”, BBC’s Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile (1926-2011) who was accused of raping 400 young men.

    Vatican spokesperson, Father Federico Lombardi, said Pope Benedict XVI firmly condemn the horrible crimes of sexual abuse of minors and considers the Savile revelations as “very grave”. American Catholic writer and women’s rights activist, Joanna Francis, had called Pope Benedict XVI, a ‘Zionist double agent‘ in September 2006.

    Jimmy was a staunch supporter of the Zionist entity. During his 10-day aliya to Israel in 1975, he boasted: “I’m the most Jewish Catholic you will ever meet,” The Jewish Chronicle, November 3, 2011. During his stay, Jimmy also met Israeli president Ephraim Katzir and Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek. The trip was fully paid by Lord John Levy of the Friends of Israel Educational Trust. Levy maintains family residence in both London and Tel Aviv. His two sons live in Israel. Levy is a close friend of Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak….

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  10. Indeed, I now possess a recently located audio file of one of McCain’s wartime Hanoi broadcasts, which seems absolutely genuine to me.

    Mr. Unz, I would like to second #4’s request to release the McCain audio. I would really be curious to hear what sort of things he said.

    To be sure, I can’t really hold against McCain what did while he was a POW. As a captive, your captors have absolute control over you, and can generally make you do anything they want. No, for me, McCain’s real treason began after the war, when he decided to sell his fellow POWs down river, just so he move on with his life, and enjoy a cushy career inside the very system that had wronged our boys and their families. That is disgusting and shameful behavior. I can never forgive him for that. As pitiful as Barack Obama has been, I’m still glad McCain did not become president.

    And once again, Mr. Unz, thank you for staying on top of this vital issue. The public needs to know what really happened to the POWs.

  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    How can he write so finely?

    I hadn’t reached the second paragraph’s end when the question crossed my mind.

    There should be more like you, Mr. Unz. Or, for the sake of some precision: there should be more like you and in good faith as you are.

  12. Durruti says:

    One more lovely emotional article by Ron Unz, followed by a scurrilous, lying, immoral, and overly lengthy comment, by Gene Tuttle.

    Tuttle, an apologist for Zionist American Imperialism (including genocidal murder of 2 million Vietnamese) accuses the Northern Americans of invading the Southern Americans, (er the old canard of the Northern Vietnamese invading the Southern Vietnamese). He wins the MOSSAD/CIA prize for “misdirection propaganda,” as he writes,

    But as anti-Nixon as the mood was, few would have expected timely payments to be made to Hanoi for “reconstruction” as it was “deconstructing” the South.”

    Apparently the slaughter of 2 million, (mostly civilian), Vietnamese through the most concentrated bombing campaign in human history (replete with Napalm and Agent Orange defoliants), does not elicit an admission of Zionist American “deconstruction,” of Vietnam, but the Nationalist anti-colonial effort of the Vietnamese Revolutionaries to unify their divided nation is slanderously labeled “deconstruction.” The Americans’ whose home lies some 10,000 miles away, do not merit the epithet of “Invader”, but the ‘Northern’ Vietnamese
    (Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the Vietnamese Liberation Army, was born in the Southern part of his country), are routinely labeled “invaders” of their own country.

    That is nice doublespeak from the apologists for the greatest American Oligarch crime of the 20th Century. Americans have yet to atone for that crime; they remain in a state of Denial.

    Tuttle’s immoral contribution is a clinical example of historical “deconstruction.”

    George Santayana wrote: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    And Repeat it – they have:

    And the Zionist American imperialist “deconstruction” past is being -daily- repeated in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Palestine, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan. And it has been repeated, from Belgrade to the Congo, to Indonesia, to Detroit, and a hundred other American cities. NAFTA also kills.

    And all these crimes were committed only over the dead Body of the American Republic, which, along with our martyred Hero, and last Constitutional President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

    The Vietnamese hoped for some American help – so that they might more rapidly rebuild their deconstructed, bombed, invaded nation. Vietnamese are incurable optimists; they continue to hope for help from those who murdered 2 million of their people.

    Vietnam, Palestine, the Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan, Latin America, are just the short list of Warcrimes that will have to be answered and atoned for by the Zionist American Oligarch imperialists, and their silent American subjects, before their Gods,

    *The 2 million deaths figure in the 12 year American imperialist assault against Vietnam, is a figure from the United States Senate. Below: just 1 of many sources.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Stonehands
  13. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor

    If US paid Iran for hostages, then it would send a message to all the world that they could just hold US hostages and make demands and humiliate the giant into caving to demands.

    hey, we got us a neocon: the Iran deal is baaad because “USA will pay Iran \$150 billion and we taxpayers need that money!,” and “US paid Iran for hostages.”

    Wrong X 2

    US did not pay for the hostages. Even zio-controlled Wikipedia acknowledges that the Algiers Accords bargain was that US would release Iranian funds that US had frozen:

    The negotiations resulted in the “Algiers Accords”[ of January 19, 1981. The Algiers Accords called for Iran’s immediate freeing of the hostages, the unfreezing of \$7.9 billion of Iranian assets and immunity from lawsuits Iran might have faced in America, and a pledge by the United States that “it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs”.

    notice that USA has failed to uphold its part of the bargain on numerous points.

  14. Durruti says:


    Brilliant comment.

    Thanks, whoever you are (pun intended).

  15. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Yeah, I agree. It is not a bad thing to expose any child abuse be it Christian or Jewish. But massive Jewish child sex abuse never gets covered.

    My take is that the Jews who run Hollywood are using movies like spotlight offensively to help finish off an old foe (Christianity), while never allowing anything critical of Judaism to see the light.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Stonehands
  16. @Priss Factor

    The Iran hostage circumstance didn’t see a ransom paid to release the hostages, actually the Iranians were paid to keep the hostages longer. Check out Ari Ben Manche’s book ‘Profits of War’ where he covers the so-called ‘October Surprise’ of 1980, where George H.W. Bush and Robert Gates arranged paying millions in cash up front at a meeting with the Ayatollahs representatives in Paris and and more, the same meeting where they agreed to ship weapons to Iran when Reagan (actually career CIA criminal and Vice-Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush) came to power. Iran was bought and agreed to KEEP the hostages until after the election. Ben Manache was present and eye-witness to George H.W. Bush arrival for the meeting. Not much political similarity to the McCain circumstance, actually just corruption at the alpha level (other than similarity where both involved treason.)

    ps, good stuff by Ron Unz, but the only material I read from his Review these days is the American Pravda that arrives in my mailbox, so all my detractors can relax (now back to planning next year’s organic farm improvements)

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  17. Wally says: • Website

    Ron Unz said:

    The Best Picture winner at this year’s Academy Awards was Spotlight, which seemed an excellent choice to me. That powerful ensemble performance showed a handful of daring investigative reporters at The Boston Globe taking on the political and cultural establishment of their city, breaking the story of how the Catholic Church had long shielded its numerous pedophile priests. The focus was less on the scandal itself and more on the obstacles faced by the journalists, including the widespread disbelief that a cover-up so vast could have remained in place for so long.

    Unz curiously ignores the fact that there is an active move afoot to legalize pedophilia.
    Not to mention his dodging of rabbi child lust.

    Where are the “daring investigative reporters” covering this sickness?


  18. Che Guava says:

    Very interesting, Mr. Unz.

    In the same way as you did, I always dismissed the claims as Rambo-level (or Team America: World Police level) propaganda. Although I enjoyed the latter.

    Your series of articles on this is very fascinting, as are the quotes from Syd, RIP.

    Thank you for running a site where freedom of expression generally rules.

    I cannot vote there, but wish you all the best in your Senate candidacy, really hope that you are elected!

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  19. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website
    @Ronald Thomas West

    “The Iran hostage circumstance didn’t see a ransom paid to release the hostages, actually the Iranians were paid to keep the hostages longer.”

    You’re right technically. It was about frozen assets(and returning the shah while he was alive).

    But it was a defacto ransom since the hostages had to be traded for money.

    As for GOP dirty tricks, that is foul stuff if true.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  20. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    The narrative of underdogs taking on the powerful Catholic church is somewhat misleading.

    The increasing attacks on the church happened when it was in a state of steep decline. It could be picked on.

    It was an attack by the new overdogs on the underdogs. The main new topdogs were Jewish.

    Also, there was a time when Jews needed Catholics in a very uneasy alliance against the wasps.
    Jews and Catholics never liked each other, but they were both up against the Wasp elites. It’s like the Catholic greasers and Jewish bagels work together against the Wasp establishment in Godfather II.

    But in time, the wasps caved to Jews and became sidekicks to Jews-as-new-masters-of-America.

    So, the alliance with Catholics was less valuable, esp as key Catholics became the new face of hardcore conservatism(esp Scalia).

    So, Jews could turn on Catholics with the sex scandal stuff.

    There are lots of scandalous stuff about Jews, but no one goes near them out of fear. Even Polanski is protected. And Pollard is free. And all those jewish commies of the 50s are remembered as saints. Arnon Milchan gets to walk around freely in the US.
    But if Jewish power were in steep decline, it would be attacked like the Catholic church was.

    It is usually when a once powerful institution is in decline that its opponents really come out of the woodworks.

  21. The trouble with conspiracy theories is how many people would have to be in on it. Presumably, according to this theory, Jimmy Carter would have had to be in on it, and George HW Bush, and many other would have been willing to leave hundreds of American prisoners to die in Vietnam. Do you really believe this is likely? And what did happen to the prisoners, according to the theory?

  22. @Durruti

    Have you had to pay Rehmat’s orhaniser’ for the IP?

    • Replies: @Durruti
  23. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor

    But it was a defacto ransom since the hostages had to be traded for money.

    every negotiation has a quid pro quo, it’s the essence of bargaining, of contracting, of trade.

    does anyone reasonably expect a sovereign state to roll over just because Uncle Sam said so? Unc did not have a moral, legal, or even geostrategic leg to stand on re Iran & hostages who, btw, returned alive and in relatively good health.

    that’s what’s stupid about the demand that the no money go to Iran –the bargain was that Iran receive sanctions relief, in exchange for complying with negotiated limits on its nukes program: sanctions relief was the quid pro quo. Iran has complied w/ its obligations under JCPOA; for USA to deny sanctions relief is to renege on the deal. It’s also to screw USA’s partners in the negotiations in addition to putting USA citizens and commercial interests in an unfavorable position wrt reinvigorating trade with Iran. All in all a dumb dumb dumb gambit — US Congress prefers to shut US corporations and thereby American workers out of favorable trade w/ a young, dynamic nation with pent-up demand in preference for fellating Netanyahu.

  24. JoeFour says:
    @Priss Factor

    To hell with “US prestige, pride, and power” … we should have paid the money and not looked back. And, now? What is the current status of “US prestige, pride, and power?” We are the bully of the world and everyone hates us…with great justification.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  25. Durruti says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    “Have you had to pay Rehmat’s orhaniser’ for the IP?”

    Huh? Unclear.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  26. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    I agree on the prestige and pride part. US should have paid to get POWs back if they really existed and if US knew of them.

    But the issue of precedent would have been important.

    If US paid money get POWs back, it could set a precedent for all future conflicts where the enemy just holds US POWs and blackmails US for money.

    If this POW issue is true, then it is one of those things where it become more difficult to admit as time passes.
    It’s like Watergate. The longer dragged on, it only got worse also more difficult for Nixon to say ‘oops, we did wrong’. Lie is like rotting food. The longer it’s in the pot, the less you wanna open the lid.
    Also, the silence from both parties suggests bipartisan culpability. If only one party was involved, the other party could use it. But silence from both suggests a lot of involvement in the mess by both sides.

    If you tell a lie and rectify it soon enough, you may be forgiven.

    But if you told a lie and insisted it was true again and again and again and again, then it is really difficult to admit wrong without losing everything.
    If this POW thing is true, then this is a longest lie, and too many reputations and careers–political, media, academic, diplomatic, international, etc–are associated with it. And Prisonergate is far far worse than Watergate.

    Did GOP cover it up because Nixon and Kissinger were involved?
    Did Dems cover it up cuz it might be a big boost to the ‘far-right’ Rambo elements who always insisted that commies were no good?
    Also, recall that many in Lib Media were sympathetic to commie takeover of SE Asia. But they ended up with egg on face when Cambodia went south with Khmer Rouge and Vietnam had the Boat People crisis.
    Well, it would have been one thing for the media to be wrong about something that harmed foreigners in foreign lands. But the idea that the media sympathized with the enemy that kept US prisoners would have been too much admittance of guilt.

    Consider the sign of the times. Jane Fonda was given two oscars in the 70s. This was Hanoi Jane who said US prisoners got real nice treatment from the commies.
    She called them ‘liars’ when they spoke of torture. She was a hero to many in the media.
    Hillary Clinton, a boomer, couldn’t stand military-uniformed people around her. (Boy, did she change her tune as a new-warmonger.) I recall in the 70s, it was not uncommon to read articles and news sympathetic to Maoist China.

    The media prefer the Narrative over the Truth. Look at the lies about Matthew Sheperd who was killed in a drug deal gone bad. He was made into some homo saint.
    Look at all the lies told about Russia by the media that are so into homo-worship that Russia’s ban on homo parades seems worse to them than Stalinism.

    Now, it may well have been true that most people in the media sincerely believed there were no POWs, but then, maybe they only chose to see what they wanted to. It is so easy to close one’s eyes and just see selectively.
    We have this with BLM, a totally bogus movement.
    And given Hillary and media’s lack of concern for white policemen, it’s like Vietnam all over again.
    Even the narrative about Dallas is crazy. Kennedy was killed by a lone Marxist, but the blame is placed on Dallas as ‘city of hate’. That is the Narrative, and it trumps reality. So, all those conservative Texans killed Kennedy by the power of ‘thought’.
    But when a black nut kills 5 white officers, Dallas is not the ‘city of hate’ because it is now Democratic and majority-minority. Just like Liberal media in the 70s wanted to believe in happy ending to communist takeover of SE Asia, they want to believe that Dallas is a much nicer place because of Democratic takeover of white ‘city of hate’.

    It’s like what the kid says in SIXTH SENSE. Media are like ghosts. They see what they want to see.

    As for the POW thing, I dunno. Maybe it’s true, maybe not. Too much silence on the matter from most of media. But I figure… if we can talk about Emmit Till after all these yrs, no reason we can’t talk about POWs.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @JoeFour
  27. Joe says:

    As usual “overwhelming evidence” of secret Vietnam prisoners but no evidence is actually mentioned. Just like the “overwhelming evidence” of global warming.

    Pardon my skepticism.

    “numerous pedophile priests”. Actually a handful of repeat perderasts. Pedophiles molest the opposite sex while pederasty is a form of criminal homosexuality with adolescent boys. This distinction is important. The Spotlight team did not dare stir up the Gay hit squads. So much for their “courage”.

  28. @Anonymous

    I suspect that you greatly overestimate Jewish ethnic solidarity judging by the scandals in Australia over sexual abuse in ultra Orthodox (if that is the right generic term) schools – not only male abuse of male or female. Perhaps you would be happier thinking of entrepreneurial Jewish lawyers getting up damages actions….

  29. @Priss Factor

    I think you have raised some plausible points about motivation. On the face of it the problem of encouraging hostage takung shouldn’t have been insurmountable but might have been specially sensitive thanks to the Iranians at a critical time.

  30. @Joe

    ““numerous pedophile priests”. Actually a handful of repeat perderasts. Pedophiles molest the opposite sex while pederasty is a form of criminal homosexuality with adolescent boys. This distinction is important”

    Handful? I doubt it. Check out this map of Italy alone:

    The problem is worldwide, check out the links appended to Saint Chester:

    Oh, calling bullshit on the ‘opposite sex’ claim, this from the Oxford:

    pedophile |ˈpedəˌfīl| (Brit. paedophile)
    a person who is sexually attracted to children.
    ORIGIN 1940s: from pedo-1 + -phile.

    Most Catholic priest pedophiles happen to be attracted to ‘boy-children’

  31. JoeFour says:

    I’m the “Joe” of the “US prestige, pride, and power” comment at 6:20 … have changed my handle to JoeFour to avoid future confusion with the other “Joe” …

  32. @Che Guava

    Too late, dude, Ron needed to be one of the top two vote getters in the June 6, 2016 primary election. He wasn’t.

    For Californians, our choices in the U.S. Senate general election are white-hating half-African crook Kamala Harris and white-hating semi-retarded Mexican Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. I will either write someone in or, if write-ins are not allowed, leave that race blank — which I’ve never done before in my life.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  33. JoeFour says:
    @Priss Factor

    Yes, lies and corruption are everywhere and the Vietnam POW/MIA issue is chock full of both and has been since 1973. Precedent ? … we should have followed the example of the English who ransomed Richard the Lionheart even though the asking price was triple the Kingdom’s annual revenue …

  34. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    From Schanberg’s piece on McCain, one gets the impression that McCain feared nothing more than the return of POWs lest they spill the beans on him.

    It’s like Malden fearing to see Brando again in ONE EYED JACKS.

    Dead men tell no tales.

    It’s like Israel tried to kill everyone on USS Liberty. Survivors tell tales.
    Better if all are dead.

    And if McCain was indeed Hanoi Rose, some of the POWs might have heard stories.

    Anyway, the final evidence is in Vietnam, and the Viets will never admit the truth if indeed the POW story is true. So, unless there is drastic change-about in Vietnam, we will never know for sure.

    If the story about McCain is true, it’s worse than mere betrayal. It’s a whole career built on betrayal. If McCain hadn’t a successful career after Vietnam, he might even be lauded for coming clean on his true war record. He could say he got scared. He could say he was injured and needed medical attention. All too human, all too understandable.
    But suppose he built a great political career on a false narrative. Like Max in Once Upon a Time in America.

    This kind of thing isn’t uncommon in the military and politics when so much of promotion and advancement depends on exaggerated honors and narratives of heroism and such. Politics is about selling a narrative.

    And McCain hedged his bets by being bipartisan. He was GOP but also won over the NYT crowd by going against GOP ‘hardliners’. Lib media got invested in him as the ‘good progressive Republican’. Mr. Amnesty.

    Because of issues of honor, face and prestige is far more important to military culture than in simple business or politics. McCain was never much for brains, and his entire political career was built on the narrative of military service and sacrifice.

    Well, he did serve in the war. He did suffer as POW even if he did a stint as Hanoi Rose. But suppose he got off easy compared to others, and suppose many such people came to loathe him. Suppose such people were not released because they were the true heroes who never talked and never compromised.
    If such people came back and told the truth, that would have been totally shameful for McCain.

    But to cut McCain some slack, maybe by the time he was in a position to look into the matter, the POWs were all dead and he couldn’t do anything about it even if he wanted to.

  35. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    You know, Trump was very disrespectful about McCain.

    Even Democrats who attacked McCain on lots of stuff never touched his ‘war hero’ record.

    Was Trump just being Trump(Mr Brash) or did he hear something about McCain we don’t know about? His sheer irreverence was amazing, esp because Trump has been talking about the treatment of Vets.

  36. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:

    Thanks for covering this long ”festering” unresolved issue, of the POW of Vietnam.

    I wish you would take on this smaller but important issue, of the Olympics ban of the Russian team, based on what?

    Cross talk RT TV, conflated or related that the evidence of doping by the Russians is rather similar to the lies about weopons of Mass Destruction”, that has pretty near trashed us.

    Well I guess it boils down to a managed and completely corrupt and incompetant Mass Media not much challenged, but that’s where you come in, and thank you for all you do Ron!

  37. @Durruti

    Thanks for highlighting the crimes of the U.S. military and the Deep State Oligarchs in Indochina.

    There would have been no Khmer Rouge if the U.S. had not invaded Vietnam and committed genocide of the people of Indochina; but this is an unpalatable truth that must be hidden.

    • Replies: @edNels
  38. @Anonymous

    “…My take is that the Jews who run Hollywood are using movies like spotlight offensively to help finish off an old foe (Christianity),….”

    Roman Catholicism is baptized paganism, co-opted since Constantine.

    One Empire. One Emperor. One Religion.

    ……The antithesis of the Christ of Scriptures.

  39. Che Guava says:

    Thanks for the info.

    I found it strange that such a populous state has only two horrid-sounding candidates on the ballot, so i did a quick check on the system.

    Weird system!

    Primary of all candidates in a lump, only the top two on the paper.

    Until now, I thought ‘primary’ in US politics only meant the intra-party ones.

    Assumed Mr. Unz wanting to stand would only have required winning a party contest, or paying a bond to get on the ballot as an independent.

    Again, thanks for the education.

  40. @Durruti

    After correcting the h to g I note that it is a reference to the similarity in style and argument to “Rehmat” (even tough Intellectual Property isn’t strictly applicable to those features) and that it treats Rehmat as some kind of syndicate or maybe collective organisation.

  41. Durruti says:

    Wizard of Odd?

    “reference to the similarity in style and argument to “Rehmat””

    Maybe Rehmat can get in on this? There are many on this website, including Ron Unz, with whom I agree substantially.

    Is this an accusation of plagiarism? Or an accusation of my being Rehmat?

    I suggest that if you disagree with my views, be honest enough to say so, and, perhaps, even advance your own counter arguments. This is what the Unz Forum is designed to do – well.

    No, I am not Unz, and disagree with him on one (his) key issue, I oppose any imposition of a language, or culture “only.” proficiency in the English language and other learning is accelerated by the learning and understanding of more cultures, languages, and ideas, not by submerging them. Many of America’s Founders were proficient in French, and many had a smattering of Greek and Latin.

    Nevertheless, as with Ron Paul, I support the election of Ron Unz, and were I a resident in California, I would vote for him. But I digress.

    I would prefer to be mis-identified as a Rothschild; where is my Yacht?

    Durruti, Peter J. Antonsen, or whomever.

  42. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:

    Well if one were a ”Red blooded American” with a Lust for Blood…

    For those who read the book by Herman Hess, “Stepanwolf”, wherein was floated a very important concept/idea, about a ”theatre of possibilities”, (or something similar,) .

    You go into this theater, and you go through some preliminaries, and then you are confronted with a series of doors which you are advised you may choose which one to enter.

    Through the door, you are in another dimension, in a place, you have to deal with it. One of the venues was to be on the African Sevannah, dealling with the wild life. Another was WW1 trench war, and so on.

    Well, my idea is: that we in the 1960’s were dealt a similar chance to enter a door, and to go to a venue, where it was a chance for those who had that strong Blood lust, who really wanted to let go and Do IT! a good go.

    And they lined up for the opportunity, and conscripted the naive to carry water… !

    I saw it as not in my Karmic Good, so deferred, as was possible.

    I was referred to Stepanwolf by a well known antiwar activist from the Berkeley U on the ride back to town from the Oakland induction Center.

    • Replies: @Stonehands
  43. Why doesn’t someone just go to Vietnam and find the remains? How did the Vietnamese dispose of them? Did they bury them in pits? If so, there should still be some forensic evidence available to any budding young filmmaker out to make a name for himself. Surely, somebody over there knows a guy who knows a guy who could point out the location. Hire some guys to dig holes, collect the remains, have a pathologist determine the race, DNA type them and announce to the world that you’ve found them. Put it on tape. Presto – evidence. You could even start a crowd-fundraiser for it.

    • Replies: @Whoever
    , @Macon Richardson
  44. Whoever says:
    @Divine Right

    The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency does that.

    Here’s an article from Stars and Stripes about Colleen Shine, who went to Viet Nam to find her father, then Capt. Anthony Shine, who was shot down Dec. 2, 1972, on a strike mission against Hwy. 7 near the border of Laos and North Viet Nam. He was listed as MIA for 24 years. ( The Lt. Col. Anthony Shine Fighter Pilot Award for outstanding flying ability is named after him.)

    DANANG, Vietnam – Colleen Shine was only 8 when her father’s jet was shot out of the sky over Vietnam in 1972.
    Lt. Col. Anthony Shine was declared missing in action after the A-7D reconnaissance jet he was piloting disappeared over jagged mountains near the border of Laos.
    “My mother didn’t know if she was a wife or a widow, and we didn’t know if my dad might walk back in that door,” recalled his daughter, who became an activist with the National League of POW/MIA Families in the following years.
    More than two decades passed before a recovery team was able to inspect a crash site believed to be the A-7D, but the Shine family was told no evidence was found. A helmet retrieved after the crash by a villager offered no clues either, they were told. Shine traveled to Vietnam in 1995 to see for herself.
    “I went to the village, found the crash site, and when I found the villager with the helmet, it had my dad’s handwritten name in it,” she said. “I found parts of an airplane with serial numbers and bags and bags of stuff.”
    The military team excavated the site.
    “We were able to get enough remains to put in a ziplock bag,” she said.
    The family finally buried him in 1996 in Arlington National Cemetery.
    “I want people to understand the heart of this issue is so different than a clear-cut killed-in-action case,” said Shine, who lives in Virginia. “You don’t have a truth to face and move forward from. Uncertainty is a wholly different burden.”

    The complete article

  45. @edNels

    “…Well, my idea is: that we in the 1960′s were dealt a similar chance to enter a door, and to go to a venue, where it was a chance for those who had that strong Blood lust, who really wanted to let go and Do IT! a good go…”

    There is the destructive/creative force that propels us through existence. It is the beautiful and terrible. It is the Dionysian principle. Ecstasy. The raw energy of being. It is violent and utterly unpredictable. It is Chaos: the force of Nature and Life. It is the Will to Power in its most singular form, and as such, it is eternally devouring itself.

    “…I saw it as not in my Karmic Good, so deferred, as was possible….”

    Then there is the Apollonian: Distinction. Individuality. Categories. Maps. Self/Others.

  46. @Divine Right

    While Vietnam is open to tourists, one could not just go there and poke around asking about friends of friends, or digging holes in the ground or collecting evidence. You’d probably have an easier time poking around Area 51 looking for extra-terrestrials. Think about it: you couldn’t do that in the United States of America, even if you looked like Pat Boone and drove a Ford pick-up.

    “Whatchu doin’ here boy?”
    “Why you askin’ ’bout ‘at?”
    “Get the hell off my land, you moron.”

    Now try the same thing while wearing your best Friday-go-to-mosque outfit. Think about it! Even Sheriff Andy of Mayberry would ask you what you were doing.

    And that’s why someone can’t just go to Vietnam, ask about a friend of a friend, dig around a little bit and get the evidence.

  47. TheJester says:


    I’m suspicious of narratives that involve national security/policy issues that could conceivably involve the CIA. As an avid reader of “conspiracy” theories such as the JFK assassination, I have learned this about the CIA.

    1. It tries to weave stories within stories within stories to create opportunities to revector a narrative whenever and whenever it needs to. The intention is to muddle things up so thoroughly that no one can find a solid foundation from which the CIA’s involvement (or the Government’s involvement) can be proven one way or the other.

    2. The CIA hires master story tellers to help it write its stories within stories. These people are very good at what they do.

    3. The CIA sponsors up to 200 books a year (often from notable authors and experts within academia) that recast and color narratives to help it control (or confuse) public perceptions and discussions on various issues. During the Cold War, the CIA was able to successfully use this influence over publications and public discussions at home and abroad to recolor and control fairly large political movements. In the extreme, the CIA would buy publishing houses to mask their sourcing of the material.

    I ran across what I am convinced is one of these books last year. It was a newly published book explaining the CIA’s involvement in the Kennedy assassination. (Why now ?) The story line was that the CIA was hot on the trail of the Kennedy assassins (yes, it was a conspiracy ….), which explains why the CIA had its fingerprints via people and events so close to the assassination. Hence, the book’s theme is that it “appears” that the CIA was involved in the Kennedy assassination only because the CIA was doing its job to ferret out the conspirators and stop the assassins. The CIA was closing in on the conspirators when the assassination occurred. Just one more reference calculated to confuse the narrative on the part of anyone trying to understand the assassination ….

    I put your quandary about the missing POWs in the same category. Given the CIA’s role in creative storytelling, it goes without saying that counter narratives exist and will continue to be published by credible sources about the alleged POWs with the purpose of “killing the story” by devolving the issue into endless disputation.

    Sometimes the evidence is not in the detail. Who … whom? Cui bono?

  48. @TheJester

    Cool, but all those dastardly CIA propaganda strategies have been known for years, largely revealed by former CIA officers or other employees themselves. So, your whole point is a battle of narratives?

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