Letters/Retraction a Lie West Hawaii Today, Aug. 6,1998

Editor:

While you may have heard that CNN retracted their "Valley of Death" production that depicted the United States and particularly the Veterans of SOG (Studies and Observation Group) as crazed baby killers, I am not sure that you understand they only apologized for not having enough "proof". In fact their "retraction" was not only hollow it was an outright lie, as they are continuing to broadcast "The Valley of Death" and sell videotapes over the World Wide Web. What is integrity in the media?

I was never assigned to SOG, however I did serve with 5th Special Forces Group (ODA-503) in the RSVN 1967-68.

I find the charges that we targeted our own citizens and a village of women and children and used lethal gas to that end, to be very disturbing. I would hope that you do too. CNN has not, to my knowledge, admitted that those charges are fabrications. In fact the producers of that show continue to gain international forums to explain their version and how their own bosses, due to pressure from military and civilian figures of high regard and respect, silenced them. They fail to substantiate these charges.

April Oliver, on C-Span, July 26, 98, claimed she had new proof that the story is true. She also charged that death threats were leveled against some of her "sources". I personally do not believe her. The problem is that any doubt as to the truth of her story is unacceptable to me, especially as she still commands air time.

I do not feel it is right that our veterans and our country continue to be attacked this way. I can only imagine what the families of the MIA and the men whose names appear in granite on the Wall, must feel if they swallow only a very small portion of that malicious production "The Valley of Death". The MIA and the Veterans across time cannot sapeak for themselves, we must.

I would very much like to see this story put to rest in truth. Therefore I am writing you and many others to gain support for congressional action to set these matters right.

I would like to see an elected official make a public statement denouncing the way CNN has handled the retraction and asking for congressional action. Yours would have a very lonely voice for a few days, but not for long, as I am sure there are many waiting for just such an announcement.

 

Mik Sharp, Kailua-Kona