An account of the wartime murder of a suspected North Vietnamese double agent describes how higher-ups, including the CIA, gave three Green Berets the go-ahead to assassinate a suspected spy. Reprint.
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A tale of intrigue between the CIA and the Green Berets during the Vietnam War, by the author of The Vietnam Fact Book (1987 paperback). In 1969, a captured photograph suggested that a Vietnamese employed by the Green Berets as an agent, one Thai Khac Chuyen, was actually a North Vietnamese soldier. Chuyen was involved in the gathering of intelligence to support the Nixon Administration's recently begun secret bombings of Cambodia. Green Beret operatives pulled him in, determined that he was compromised, and went to the CIA for instructions--which were, off the record, to kill Chuyen. The operatives asked for official confirmation, but it was late in coming, so, with the approval of the Green Beret commander, Col. Robert Rheault, the operatives shot Chuyen and dumped the body at sea. Then an official communication arrived from the CIA not to proceed, followed by an investigation by the Army and then a media blitz and a ``show trial'' of eight Green Berets in the US. The trial was quickly shut down because of its embarrassment to the Green Berets and to the Nixon Administration's secret conduct of the war. Stein, an Army intelligence officer at the time, is able to tell the full story because of the Official Secrets Act, which declassified relevant documents. He has interviewed the principals and here dramatizes their roles as a novelist might; he lays out clearly the convoluted chronology. What emerges is a high-minded Green Beret command sullied by covert operations, and an eternally sleazy CIA running death squads through its Phoenix program. Well done, and of historical interest because the trial prompted Daniel Ellsberg's leak of The Pentagon Papers to The New York Times, heralding both the end of the war and of the Nixon Administration. (Twenty-four pages of photographs and maps--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
In June 1969 a group of Green Beret officers, suspecting that one of their Vietnamese operatives was a double agent, executed him and dropped his weighted body into the ocean off Nha Trang. A dogged investigation by two Army detectives led to their arrest, followed by a hearing to determine whether they would face court-martial. The admitted triggerman, Capt. Robert Marasco, defended the group's action by stating that eliminating Thai Khac Chuyen was no different than eliminating a Vietcong during a search-and-destroy mission. Gen. Creighton Abrams, commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, didn't see it that way; neither did Army Secretary Stanley Resor. When the case became a cause celebre in the States, however, most Americans viewed the arrests as evidence of the high-level politicking that had hamstrung our troops from the start. In the end the Army dropped the charges, but the "Green Beret case" nevertheless had a significant effect on the conduct of the war: it provoked Daniel Ellsberg to leak the Pentagon Papers. In this skillfully told, engrossing narrative, Stein ( The Vietnam Fact Book ) presents all sides of this controversial case, a veritable metaphor for the ambiguities of the Vietnam War. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description St Martins Mass Market Paper, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110312929196