Why can people find the use of gas and the killing of defectors, so believable and still cannot accept the allegations in "Spite House" about Garwood being targeted?

The media only seems concerned about the use of gas. In reality, they truly only seem to be angry about some secrets that were kept from them and not what those secrets were. Had this gotten out during the war, the media would have twisted it into "a few G.I.s protesting the war were killed."

Let me draw a line here, if I may. If you truly defect, that means proven, you are a legitimate target. You can certainly be hunted down and killed in the enemy camp. But you must have "defected" to the enemy, prior to capture. Unless you are seen and undeniably identified as participating in combat operations beside the enemy, you are a POW. There are brave POWs, cowardly POWs, propaganda making POWs, hard core POWs and just plain weaklings. None of these can be classified as "defectors." International law does not allow it; "duress is assumed."

In the eyes of the Special Forces, there must have been some question about the men depicted on CNN. They were told to come out and refused. They were blown away. This is as it should have been. How controversial a war is, has no bearing on the equation. You defect, you are a legitimate target.

Now you cannot reach the threshold of legitimacy in all of this, because you "heard" or "someone said" or a guy who accepted early release claimed someone "defected." You need a lot better proof than that. The Pentagon claims only two people "defected." Well at various times they claimed Garwood was a "defector." But we know that is a lie and a court-martial board found him "not guilty." So we have McKinley Nolan. Did he defect? Maybe. Did he cross over after capture? Yes, he did. Could America have sent a team to kill him? Yes. Can they just make him dead, at the stroke of a pen? No.

Now if you can "defect" during captivity, we should have killed many members of the "Peace Committee" from Hanoi. Some of them offered to take up arms against our government. But none of them are the "two defectors." Did we send in a team and get them? Are they on the list of missing? How do we know they died? Everyone on that list is "dead" according to the government.

So, if there are definately "two defectors," who are they? If it is that definite, it should be no secret. They should have their names written in black for all to see. No reason for secrecy. You cannot embarrass a "defector." They have no problem calling Garwood a "deserter," though a board of Marine officers found him innocent of the charge. So lets hear about some real "defectors."

I submit to you that incapacitating gas produces many of the same symptoms as "nerve gas." Sarin was used in the Tokyo subway and it did not produce the dramatic affect described in the CNN program and that was a closed environment. The agent described was used on troops in the open air. The description of the affect seems to match the "vomit agent" used at Loc Ninh during the attempted rescue of advisors. But even this affected different folks in different ways. I had no mask and I muddled through. Some wounded NVA and ARVN died. But I think that was shock, not the gas itself. But regardless of the agent used, the Pentagon doing a "records search" is a myth. Admiral Moorer was the boss and what he says is the end of the story. If the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs had denied the story, then there would be a "records search." No need. The Admiral has spoken. It is too late for him to change his story.

The Hmong have been gassed in Laos in the eighties and nineties. Of course, some goon of a professor claims it was just "bee crap." Why do the liberals in the media believe we gassed people, but the Hmong only died from too much "bee crap?" The Communists used gas on a regular basis. At Bu Dop, in III Corps, they gassed the Montagnards with CS or another agent, delivered by mortar and then killed them in their family bunkers with flame throwers. Then, Senator Percy visited the site shortly after the massacre. He came running off the chopper with a tiny silver pistol in his hand. I was there. If I had a little gas that day, I would have thrown it onto a known NVA position in Cambodia. On that day even Percy would have agreed.

As far as hearing our government tried to gas people in the eighties, I know only the claim that we tried to plant "Yellow Rain" to blame the Soviets. That was Scott Barne's claim, but he was not polygraphed or given truth serum on that question. Thus, I do not believe it. I only believe what Scott says, if he has been tested seven ways from Sunday. I have talked to too many Hmong and ethnic Lao, who saw the affects of "Yellow Rain."

Copyright 1998, by Mark A. Smith, Major, USA, Retired

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