June 22, 1998

Dear Sir,

        I am happy to contribute to debunking the CNN-Time Warner news
report about the use of nerve gas in Laos.

        I was Ambassador in Laos from May 1969 to April 1973.  As such, I
was the recipient of details of MACVSOG operations in Laos.  These had to be
approved by the Embassy, and the Embassy received reports of the operations.

        Never did the Embassy approve in my name the use of gas of any sort
in Laos.  As a matter of fact, we spent much of our time refuting communist
allegations to this effect.

        While we did occasionally learn of American prisoners in Laos, we
never heard of deserters.  Some, obviously, might have turned up, but never
to the Embassy's knowledge.  Close coordination of MACVSOG operations were
essential in that CIA was conducting operations in the same general area,
and it was vital that they not conflict with each other.  Occasionally they
might be coordinated to the mutual benefit of MACVSOG and CIA in Laos.

        Please feel free to use the forgoing if you deem appropriate.
Enough lies have been surfacing, and everything possible should be done to
set the record straight.  Brave, gallant men were involved, many of whom
lost their lives, and the trash that has circulated misstatements should be
brought to the surface.

                                                        Yours very truly,


                                                        G. McMurtrie Godley
                                                        US Ambassador (ret.)