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Code-name Bright Light

Veith, George J.

30 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0684835142 / ISBN 13: 9780684835143
Published by The Free Press, New York, 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Gumshoe Books (West Columbia, SC, U.S.A.)

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the untold story of u. s. pow rescue efforts during the vietnam war. Size: 8vo. Bookseller Inventory # 019378

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Code-name Bright Light

Publisher: The Free Press, New York

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed on Front Free Fly

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

"Code-Name Bright Light" tells one of the great unknown stories of the Vietnam War: the American military's extensive secret operations to locate and rescue POW/MIAs during the conflict. It is a tale of tragedy and heroism revealed in full for the first time in this volume. George J. Veith has assembled an extensive range of previously unseen material, including recently declassified NSA intercepts, State Department cables, and wartime interrogation reports which reveal how the U.S. military conducted a centralized effort to identify, locate, and rescue its POW/MIAs. "Code-Name Bright Light" also traces the development of the various national wartime POW intelligence operations and provides an in-depth look at the activities of the Joint Personnel Recovery Center, a secretive and highly classified POW/MIA unit in South Vietnam responsible for rescuing captives. Further, it uncovers one of the most tightly held POW/MIA secrets, the primary reason why the government did not think any Americans were left behind: a clandestine communication program between the POWs and the U.S. military. This still-sensitive program provided the identities and locations of American prisoners, defeating North Vietnamese efforts to keep their names and locations a secret. The raids and efforts that make up the narrative of "Code-Name Bright Light" succeeded in freeing hundreds of captive South Vietnamese soldiers but resulted in the rescue of few Americans. The vast network of efforts, however, is a testament to the U.S. military's unknown commitment to freeing its captive soldiers.

Review:

At the end of Code-Name Bright Light, former Army captain George J. Veith reports the surprising results of a straw poll he took of former military personnel involved in the effort to liberate American POWs. More than half think that when the United States evacuated Vietnam in 1973, Yanks were left behind enemy lines. Veith is no conspiracy freak. He believes strongly that the military made a sincere effort to rescue captured troops, and argues his case well, yet he also reveals a troubled operation that did not liberate a single soldier due to a combination of its own incompetence and clever Viet Cong tactics. This important chapter of the Vietnam War has been largely ignored until the late 1990s, partly because so many relevant documents took that long to be declassified. Veith makes a genuine contribution to the historical understanding of the conflict, one that ought to engage those still wondering about men whose fates remain unknown.

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