A Murder in Wartime: The Untold Spy Story That Changed the Course of the Vietnam War


by: Stein, Jeff
Format: Hardcover

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Product Description A look at the greatest unsolved mystery and political coverup of the Vietnam War describes how, in 1969, eight Green Berets in Vietnam were arrested for the murder of a Vietnamese agent working for the Vietcong, even though it had been ordered by the CIA. 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. From Library Journal In the summer of 1969, an alleged North Vietnamese spy "disappeared." The commander of all Green Berets in Vietnam and several of his top subordinates were arrested, charged with the murder, and locked up in solitary confinement at the Long Binh jail. A national uproar ensued when these charges were leaked to the press, but in October the story vanished from the front pages--due, the author implies, to efforts by President Richard Nixon, his cabinet, and the CIA to quash the story. Washington-based journalist Stein has obtained secret files and interviewed the surviving key players in a trial that pitted America's top defense lawyers against army leadership. Revelations of government-sponsored terrorism and assassination were so embarassing that the case was eventually dropped as part of a cover-up that prompted a disenchanted Daniel Ellsberg to leak the Pentagon Papers. Highly recommended. - David Lee Poremba, Detroit Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Kirkus Reviews 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


Product Code: 9780312070373
ISBN: 0312070373
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Publication Date: 1992-04-01
Number of Pages: 414 pages
Languages: english
Edition: 1st
Dimension: 6.57 x 1.1 x 9.13 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.58 pounds