>Thursday, September 17, 9:42 PM Eastern Time
>More US veterans sue Time, CNN for gas story
>By Yukari Iwatani
>
>BURLINGAME, Calif., Sept 17 (Reuters) - Eleven US military veterans sued
>CNN and Time magazine Thursday for defamation over now-retracted reports
>that US soldiers used sarin nerve gas to kill defectors in Laos during
the
>Vietnam War.
>
>In the latest legal action over the discredited news report, six men filed
>individual defamation suits against the two organizations and five others
>filed a class action suit with the US District Court in San Jose.
>
>``I think the press is important for society  to function properly, but what
>we have here is that they just went so far overboard,'' said Art Bishop, an
>ex-Air Force pilot who said his comments were taken out of context in the
>report.
>
>The suit is the third to be filed against CNN and Time over the ``Operation
>Tailwind'' story. A US Army general filed suit in Washington earlier this
>week, and a veteran in Miami filed a separate suit seeking $100 million in
>damages in August.
>
>The report at issue aired June 7 on CNN's ``Newsstand,'' a new television
>program, and alleged that US Special Forces launched a covert operation
in
>September 1970 to hunt and kill US defectors supposedly helping North
>Vietnamese forces  in Laos.
>
>Time also published the crux of the report in its June 15 edition. CNN and
>Time are divisions of Time Warner.
>
>CNN retracted the report on July 2 after an internal investigation
concluded
>it lacked sufficient evidence, and a Pentagon review said Tailwind was a
>diversionary mission that had nothing to do with hunting defectors.
>
>CNN fired producers Jack Smith and April Oliver and reprimanded CNN war
>correspondent Peter Arnett for his role in the report.
>
>However, veterans named in the suit claimed they felt ``dishonored'' among
>their friends and family since the report came out, demanded more
>compensatory action.
>
>They are asking the organizations to discipline all of the individuals
>involved in the news report and spend the same amount of resources as they
>did for the original story to publicize their errors.  Any monetary damages
>they receive will likely be put in a trust for suffering veterans, said
>Joseph Driscoll, an ex-Marine who is named in the class action suit.
>
>``We're not in this for the money, we're in this for the principle.  We want
>butts, not bucks,'' said Driscoll.
Jack Isler
>
>