Robert Van Buskirk, the star witness on the raid, spoke on the show "NewsStand: CNN & Time." He said both that nerve gas was used and that the purpose of the mission was to kill American defectors.
"NewsStand" failed to mention Van Buskirk's credibility problems: that he was charged with arms trafficking in 1974 and that within the Special Forces community he had a reputation for "deceit and unreliability."
Damning also is that Van Buskirk, in his 1983 book "Tailwind," neglects to mention killing American deserters or using nerve gas. But 15 years later, as CNN cameras roll, he suddenly has a major revelation.
"NewsStand" quotes retired Adm. Thomas Moorer, who was chairman of the joint chiefs in 1970, as confirming the use of deadly nerve gas. Moorer, now 87, says this isn't so.
Stump, the lead pilot for the fighter planes, says nerve gas was not used.
The Special Forces officer who planned the raid says that wasn't the mission
and that no nerve gas was used. USAF chemical munitions experts who were
in Thailand and Vietnam at this time agree. They say CNN and Time wouldn't
know nerve gas from manure and that both are full of the
Helicopter blades would have sucked the gas into the choppers. But neither the helicopter crews nor the Special Forces raiders wore gas masks. All the Special Forces raiders had been wounded -- and with that lethal stuff, one drop in an open wound or one whiff and you're gone.
CNN's own military consultant, USAF retired Maj. Gen. Perry Smith, told CNN to pull the story before it ran. Smith has since quit CNN in protest.
Smith wrote, "I had tried very hard to convince (CNN) to do a major retraction but to no avail. Lots of people at CNN were solidly with me on this, but not the top bosses and the team that put that terrible special together."
In 1970, at the time of the raid, my unit, 44th Special Zone, controlled most of the secret cross-border raids into Cambodia. Special Forces warriors under the Zone's control were never given a mission to snuff American defectors. The reverse was true: Recovery of American personnel was top priority.
My memory of Operation Tailwind tracks with the SF planner. And I know from more than four years in Vietnam that I never once even heard a rumor that nerve gas was used.
story would flunk Journalism 101 at Bonehead College. It's full of holes.
Not only did it show the wrong gas mask on the tube, it failed to examine
the North Vietnamese official history of the 968th Infantry Division, which
controlled that region of Laos. This unit's
after-action report doesn't contain even a hint that nerve gas was used against its troops.
Further, if nerve gas had been used, the media savvy Reds would have made sure that every headline in the world screamed "Americans Use Nerve Gas in Laos." Instead, Hanoi just announced that Van Buskirk's claim was news to them.
Special Forces Vietnam veteran Tom Marzulla has conducted an exhaustive study of Van Buskirk's allegations. He claims that Vietnam-era Special Forces soldiers want Van Buskirk tried for "the murder of the two unarmed Americans" he says he killed during the raid.
"Only after an investigation will the entire truth come out," says Marzulla.
Beginning with traitors such as Ted Turner's wife, Jane Fonda -- known as "Hanoi Jane" for aiding and abetting the enemy during the war -- Hollywood has spent 30 years trashing Vietnam vets, doing its best to paint them as savages.
Sure it was a bad war. Right, we shouldn't have been there. But blame the politicians and other jerks who sent our kids there instead of demeaning the brave men who fought in that apocalypse.
It was one of the toughest wars we've ever fought. Tougher still was how our troops were treated when they came home. Those who stood tall there have been dishonored long enough. Time Warner must make its wrong-minded media twins apologize, and heads should roll over this latest bit of tired anti-Vietnam War propaganda.
The bogus Time-CNN story accusing
our Special Ops folks in Vietnam
of using nerve gas to wax American defectors has outraged me.
It is the biggest lie the anti-Vietnam
War, anti-military mob has
launched to date.
The skinny is the that the reporters
went into this story with an
agenda to take a shot at the bravest group of people who fought in
Vietnam -- Special Force's Operations Group warriors and their fixed wing
and rotary blade air crews. Guys who did things and took
Hollywood would consider too daring for a film.
But this time the slimy media
rats misfired and have ended up
shooting themselves between the eyes.
Write to CNN and Time Magazine
and demand an apology and that those
responsible for this outrage get their walking papers. New Zealand born
Peter Arnett should be exiled to Bosnia to walk point in front of a blind
mine sweeping squad. Since the Gulf War he has become
Also, if your local newspaper ran pieces that supported the CNN-Time
lie, demand a retraction and that the truth be given equal
your local talk-back radio program to sound off. Same with Vet groups.
Former Special Forces member
Bob Brown at Soldier of Fortune
Magazine has challenged Peter Arnett, CNN and Time to a debate at the
National Press Club. Hopefully, this will cause the rest of the press
corps to jump on the story and report the truth to the American people.
Right now, most are dodging the story just like their editors dodged the
draft during the Vietnam War.
Raise hell. This BS story is
an insult to everyone who served in
Vietnam and to every America Vet. CNN-Time lumped us all into the same
category as Saddam's thugs who have a proven track record of using
I've listed several reports that
tell the truth about this story at
www.hackworth.com under A BIG LIE for your media reference.
Fix bayonets and charge. We owe
Vietnam-era SOG studs and all our
Vietnam Vets and especially our valiant guys on the Wall max effort to
right this wrong to their honor.
KEEP Five Yards,*
* Means spread out so one round won't get us all.