July 13, 1998
 
 The Honorable Senator, Theodore Kennedy
 US Senate, Washington, DC
 
 
 Subject :  Request for Congressional Hearing - CNN's broadcast - "Operation
Tailwind"
 
 Dear Senator,
 
 As a  veteran of the Army and Special Forces during the Vietnam Conflict and
native of Massachusetts, I  ask for your help in petitioning Congress for a
hearing on the CNN broadcast of their "story" called  "Operation Tailwind".
 
 The damage to the reputation of the United States, and its relations with
Foreign Governments caused by CNN's broadcast, aired on Newstand, June 7th,
have far reaching impact on our Country and its servicemen and women.
 
 As Massachusetts native, I have watched the careers of your family with
appreciation and interest.  I respect the fact that it would have been easier
for you and your brothers to simply enjoy your fathers money, but instead,
each one of you devoted his life to public service.
 
 While I was too young to vote for your brother Jack, I still watched the
years of
 Camelot with pride, while I was at Northeastern University in Boston.
 
 As his and Bobby's lives were brought short by extreme elements of our
society, we need to prevent another travesty being perpetrated on this Country
and its servicemen by CNN.
 
 This travesty was initiated by CNN with its story on "Operation Tailwind", a
secret mission comprised of Special Forces soldiers and native montagards deep
in Laos in 1970.   As a veteran, I'm sure that Jack would not idly sit by
while a immoral TV newsgroup foisted a series of astounding revelations on the
viewing public,  just to get a shocking premier of CNN's Newstand.
 
 While an apology and retraction were eventually issued, it was not before a
second show was aired a week later.  The apology was issued by their CEO, Tom
Johnson through First Amendment lawyer, Floyd Abrams.
 
 The apology was worded such that it inferred the facts, while unsubstantiated
were essentially an honest reflection of the story uncovered by the producers.
 
 Numerous articles have been written by other newspapers, veterans and related
news services such as AP and Reuters damning this broadcast and subsequent
retraction / apology on July 2, 1998.
 
 It was noted that over two hundred interviews were taken over a period of
eight months, CNN producer April Oliver stated.   But, none of the "sources"
were named.   Ms. April Oliver, one of the producers fired as a result of the
Abrams investigation, indicated that they were "confidential " to protect
their identity.
 
 In the past three weeks, I have researched numerous articles found in the a
National Archives, and found evidence that MS OLiver and her co- producer ,
Mr. Jack Smith are now trying to cover up a blatant misrepresentation of the
truth.
 
 Review of the declassified records of  the Special Observations Group for
this operation, originally classified TOP Secret - LIMBIS indicate a totally
different story than the one purported by Ms. Oliver and Mr. Jack Smith.  Mr.
Smith indicated that  "No documentation of this operation exists!"
 
 AS FAR AS THE MAJORITY OF SPECIAL FORCES VETERANS ARE CONCERNED, Ms. OLIVER
AND HER CO- PRODUCER MR. SMITH, ARE LYING THROUGH THEIR TEETH.
 
 SO CONVINCED WITH THEIR PREMISE OF THE SHOCKING STORYTHAT WAS TO BE BROADCAST
ON THE  PREMIER OF NEWSTAND, THE PRODUCERS EDITED OUT SECTIONS THAT WOULD HAVE
REFUTED THE FACTS THAT WERE AIRED!
 
 It reflects a total lack of ethics and moral judgement on the part of the
shows producers and its network management.  The hypocrisy of ignoring the
facts and selective editing to confirm their ill-founded hypothesis is truly
astounding!
 
 At least the Japanese gave us some hints of war prior to their bombing of
Pearl Harbor in 1941.   Your brothers fought well in WW II and one of them
returned to an illustrious career in politics; however, such is not the case
with many Vietnam veterans
 
 Unfortunately, thanks to one of the individuals that "read" the script ON-
Air, Mr. Peter Arnett, a lot of us weren't as lucky!  His memoirs paint an
interesting "slant" on his war stories during Vietnam.  It is obvious that he,
Ms. Oliver and Mr. Smith had something in mind when they pushed to air this
story.
 
 I don't know about you, but I think that "story" would be a true blockbuster!
 
 All that veterans want, is to regain the small appreciation for our service
during this hated war, which was so recently regained .  We served our Country
when it needed us.  Now the country and its veterans are maligned by a story
that is so far-fetched it could be on the X-Files series as another "secret"
government plot hidden from the public.
 
 Both the country and its servicemen have been done a hateful disservice by
these accusations.
 
 We want the truth to be brought in a public hearing that is broadcast
throughout the world, putting the rogue countries on notice that  America does
not commit heinous crimes against humanity and will not tolerate anyone who
does.
 
 Is that too much to ask?
 
 Sincerely,
 
 Walter F Emerson
 
 CPT, CE USAR (ret) (Honorably Discharged -1979)
 
 539th Engr Det, 1st SFG (abn), Okinawa et al
 2nd Engr Bn, 2nd INF Div. Korea
 Co D 19th SFG (abn)
 Co C 20th SFG(abn)
 
 Endorsed by:
 
 Paul F. Campbell, Special Forces, Retired
 Raleigh, North Carolina

 James G. Ringland, Special Forces Retired
 Marietta, Georgia 

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