Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado on October 7, 1969 · Page 12
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Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado · Page 12

Greeley, Colorado
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 7, 1969
Page 12
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Page 12 GREELEV TRIBUNE Tues., Oct. 7, 19G9 Green Beret Case Ended in Embarrassment and Confusion Dramatic Episode of Vietnamese War By ROBERT G. "kAISER The Washington Post SAIGON - The Green Bcrel murder case began in secret, exploded in n storm of international pubficily, stumbling along from confusing turn to confusing turn, and ended in embarrassment and more confusion. What follows is a bit of instant history that should be read in light of the limilatior of the a r t : II conies from sources who. in most cases, hac an interest in purveying a particular version of wlu.-t happened. In Saigon this seems to be Ihc most plausible explanation now available of what happened in the strange case of the Green Berets and Thai Khac Chuycn: The story begins wiih a photograph taken secretly in Cambodia that purportedly depicted a group of enemy operatives. Several Green Beret officers who saw t h i s photo thought they recognized one of the faces in it. The face looked like Tha Khac Chuycn, who had beer working on secret, projects will the B-57 detachment of the Special Operations Group of tin Special Forces in Vietnam. The B-57 detachment, is a secret unit, some of whose members -- including at least one of the accused in the Beret case -- operate under elaborate cover, complete with two identities, Iwo sets of identification papers, and "cover" jobs. Its operations are said to lake members of the detachment into Ciiinhnrlin and Laos on occasion. Presumably, these operations involve high risks. Once under suspicion, Chuycn that Chuycn unexpectedly appeared in Saigon last June 11 On .June 12 Chuycn went to Camp Goodman, the U.S. Specia Forces base in Saigon. Tha afternoon he was brought borne by a U.S. Special Forces of ficcr and a Vietnamese officer ·who .searched bis house. That night lie (old his wife he had been questioned while sil- ling in an "electric chair" -presumably detector, Chuycn spent the night of June 12 at home, and went back to Croup Goodman on June 13. Mis family never heard from him again. During the following week, Chuycn was given sodium penla- thol ( t r u t h scrum) by the Herds and was interrogated repeated- 'y. lie was taken to Nhalrang, icadquarters of Ihe Special Viirccs in Vietnam. The Berets iccsmc convinced that, be was a jcnclralion agent -- an enemy iperalive whose mission was to enetra(e secret U.S. activities. The Berets never thought he was a high-level operator -- one ofi them later'called him an "intelligence bum." During this period the Berels : consulted two agents or Ihe! Central 1 Intelligence Agency! (CIA) who were based in Nha- Irf.-ng, and who reportedly worked with the Special Forces on many missions. These were vet-j eran agents, at least one of'. The Berets took care to cs tablish a cover story. Their logs books and other record, showed that Chuyen went ou alone on a dangerous mission Ihe dr,-y after lie was killed. A Japanese - -American soldier actually masqueraded as Chuyen to make this (ale credible. Some time after Chuyen's de mise, one of the eight accusec Berets decided he wanted to tell some higher authority what hac happened. This man is said to have feared that his colleagues might do him harm because ol what he knew. He approached !he CIA with his story, and Ihe agency look it all down and hen kept him in its custody. And Ihe CIA conveyed the slury 'o the military command in Sai- jon. This prompted an investigs- ion. . A key episode in (lie story, it s reliably said, came when ,'nl. Robert B. liheaull, com- nander of Special Forces in Vietnam-and one of the officers implicated was asked what had happened to Chuyen. His answer was evasive, and Gen. Creighton W. Abrarns, the U.S. commander, reportedly was furious. Abrams' anger, it is said here, was the principal cause of the decision to relieve liheault (pronounced Row) of denied privileges of rank. The accused were assigned military defense counsel, and an Army colonel was named to conduct a preliminary' investigation to decide whether a full court-martial should be held. Meanwhile, one of the accused, Maj. Thomas C. Middlelon Jr., his command and arrest theiwrole to a childhood friend, eight Green Berets, even be-lGeorge Gregory, now a lawyer fore a full investigation was J i n Cheraw, S. C. Middleton ask""'"" 1 " 1 "' 1 ed Gregory to represent him. complcted. Abrams apparently authorized Rheault's removal and the eight arrests without consulting his superiors in Washington, so the case was virtually assured of was still ignorant of the caselhetic to the Berets, and to . Gregory was surprised that no news of Hie case had appear ed in the press.'lie telephoned the New York Times to ask why. The Times cabled its Saif notoriety before ROM bureau repeating the ques- civilian officials in the Nixon lion. Times reporters in Saigon administration knew anything'then made inquiries to the ' '' Army. Several days later, very iboul it. Colonel nheaull was confined o an air-conditioned trailer at Jingbinh. But the other seven nen -- two majors, three cap- ains, a warrant officer and a crgcant -- were put in virtual olitary confinement and were suddenly at 8 a.m., 'the Army releases a curt statement naming the eight men and announcing that iiiey were accused ol murdering "a Vietnamese national." The Pentagon; apparently Ihieu Says Vietnamese Will Replace Bulk of U.S. Units By GEORGE MCARTHUR Associated Press Writer SAIGON ( A P ) -- Presiden VJIJUU U UL' MJMJJLl II , \jllUVl-ll I I I was ordered fro,!, his base o '" ^ *- *** . whom served in the Korean[Nguyen V;1 " Thicii said today War. Ihe Vietnamese people "are de The Berets contended after- Icrmined to replace the bulk o vard t h a t the CIA suggested!" 10 u s - f'ghling units in 1970.' eliminating Chuyen. The CIA --jP" 1 '"-' il(Jt| cd l j lal aH America! lircclor diehard Helms himself, iccording to several publish- nperations in Mochoa, a few miles from Ihe Cambodia? bonier, to Saigon. Ills brolbci and wife have told reporters . 1-'«I»|| of M A H T 1 N n. FIKI.ll. D O l T ' l l S f l l . .Alt iN-rsmi.i liavliiB: c h i l t n n ^ J t i l l f l I l l O l l h n v i l l l l l l l l l M l ( I H l t l l uri; riM|iiirci! t o f l t c . t h n m f o r jlllitw.-UMM- I n t h o n l K l r l r L r n n r t nf Weld r i n i i l l v . r i i l i i r n i l n , MM or hpfnri- HIP IMrtl i l n y of M n i v l i , HIT", or s n l c l i - l n l n m n h u l l lie forever linn-cd. I ' l i l l l W n l H i i n K x p r u t r U The C i r o p l n y I m l l y Trlbmio S i l i l r n i l p r 2.1. 3(1, Oi:l. 7. M. inr,!l i TO citHiH'rnits OlIXP. No. I M l a i i T K s l n l i i of Miirli! K r i m l l i i K , n k n Mill-id 1,. K i - i i K l h i R . lJi'!i»'il. A l l iii-j-HiiMd h n v l i i K c l n l i n n nFriilniH l l m nljovt. niunnt) I H I I I L O lire r c q n l r i ' i l lo Hlrt I h f i n for n!lnn-niii;i l i t 111.' D l n l r l i - l C n u r l nt Weld C d M i i t v {'olnrnrlo, on or hi'forp I l i o ^.'Inl tiny of flhirrh, i n r n . or snlil i-liilniH until! lui f o r r v r r hnrn-d · r i i i i t i i n n A. l t l i l i n r i l i A d n i h i i s t i - j i l n r Tlio n r r p l p y n.-iily 'I'l-lliinip ScpU'iiihor 2.1. ;in. Oct. 7. H. troops cannot he withdrawn long as North Vietnamese forces remain in Soulh Viet a "ackground luncheon" that "am. the agency suggested liirnim, '" " m! 'J'"' l* )lie - v s l' coch to a Chuyen over to South Viet- J n l M ! session of South Vietnam's namcse authorities. II mighl have been crucial to find out who was Idling the t r u t h if the case had reached a court- According In Ihe U.S. Army, Ihiiycn was killed on June 20. The formal charges brought ngainst the accused Green Herds -- which were based on ilalcmenls given by two of the eight, and on Ihe official National Assembly and vSenate, Thicu also said be thought thai allied forces should remain in Vietnam as long as aggression threatens Southeast Asia. As Thicu spoke in Saigon, another 1,700 U.S. Marines from .he 3rd Division boarded a troopship in Da Nang to sail for he United Stales, part of the f5,00(l American troops being withdrawn before Dec. 15. Their cstigalion into Ihe case - al- fl cpa''t»re leaves 4IM.OOO Amen- legcd these details of (lie kill-| ca " lrnl) l )s '" Vietnam. " I Chiiycn was given an injec-l ion »f morphine by Capt. Lc- and .). Uriunlcy that left bin unconscious. He was carried ( from Ihe B-57 detachment's |heaclquarlers in Nhalrang by | Capt. Brumley and Warrant Of- "Illficer Kdward M. lioyle to a boat previously obtained by Brumley. Capt. Robert F. Marasco requested Capt. Robert A. Wolf lo "obtain a heavy We, the Vietnamese people, are determined to replace the bulk of Ihc U.S. fighting units ii 1970," the president said in the official English translation o his speech. "The most important thing i. that the Free World and, first o all, the U.S. ally, should not le Vietnam fall into Ihe Commu nisls' hands. And as long as the Communist aggressors from the North still remain on the terrilo- ·y of the Republic of Vietnam, lie allied forces cannot withdraw from the Vietnamese territory. "As long as peace with guar- inlees has not yd been restored n Vietnam and a new Commu- lisl aggression is stiil Ihrealen- ng this part of Ihe world, I hink that under whatever form, he Free World forces should re- liiin on this land." Thieu spoke for an hour and R minutes, Ihe longest public peech he has made since he ame to power. He emphasized thai he re- mains willing to negotiate an "acceptable" peace while determined lo avoid a coalition government or surrender to the Communists. He asked for increased American military and financial assistance lo enable his government to shoulder more of the burdens of the war. He outlined a series of domestic programs to strengthen On army, improve such services as education and reform govern ment administration. He drew applause from the largely conservative legislators several times, notably when he iaid: "We are determined to continue to fight to safeguarc freedom and democracy." Although he referred several imes to American public opin- on and aligned himself with "'resident Nixon's policy of roop withdrawal, lie made :Iear (hat he thinks complete U.S. withdrawal is a long way He said thai enough urseries.A,. No hocus pocus in planting crocuses, Just plant now. In fall for a beautiful spring. Large selection, Reasonably priced. 353.4445 DOth Ave. SOlh St. to be used in disposing of" Chuycn and Chuycn was killed by a shot from a pistol fired by Marasco. Denis, Republicans Disagree On Special Election Results The Washington Post WASHINGTON - Republicans lave lost three House seats to Democratic challengers in special elections this year. Democrats think they have spotted a The body reportedly was tl .' end . b . ut Hepublicans say spc- dumped into the South China| c i a l circumstances are Sea. Nnvv divers looked for ittcausc in every case. the there later. Your money talks at Gilbert Mcxall Pharmacies. Your mm cheerfully refunded on anf-Kac- all product if you DM »t entirely satisfied. ---Adf. Tile three elections were April .1 in Wisconsin, where Democrat David Obey won Ihe. scat occupied by Republican Mclvin Laird before he became Defense Secretary; June 24 in Montana, where Democrat John Melcher won the seat of James Baltin, who was appointed a federal judge; and last Tuesday in Massachusetts, where Democrat Michael Harrington defeated Republican William Saltonslali for Ihe seal lefl open by the death of GOP Rep. William Bates. Harrington, the newest winner, is a 32-year-old stale representative who strongly op- poses the anti-ballislic missile system and Ihe Vietnam war. His opponent, a son of retired Sen. Leverett Sallonslall, generally supported the Nixon ad : ministration on both issues. Harrington turned out lo have far greater appeal in the industrial cities of Lynn and Salem, which produced most of majority. "These elections are not isolated events," Rep. Carl Albert, the House Democratic ma- jorily leader, declared after Ihe latest triumph. "I believe they represent a national pattern. They reflect a widespread dissatisfaction on the part of the American electorate with the performance of Ihe incumbent administration and the Republican party." Rep. Bob Wilson (Calif.), chairman of the Republican Congressional Committee, says that special problems were to blame. "We lost three elections and three seats, around t h a t . I though, the district had been can't get In each case, DRUG ABUSE \merican economic assistance nd tile strengthening of South /ielnam's armed forces, now umbering more than one mil- ion men, troop replacement could continue. "However," he added, "we also want to make it clear that we, . Ihe Vietnamese people, have not yet Ihe capability to do. what we have not yet the time! to carry out. We still request, the! people and the government of the U.S. to continue to help us in order to repel the aggression and to safeguard freedom in the Soulh." when-the press release .was is sued. During the next week Greg ory arrived in Saigon. He gave a series of news conferences charging that Chuyen had been a communist double-agent 'who could have endangered the lives of thousands of Americans, anc adding that the CIA had order ed his elimination. A second lawyer, Henry Roth, jlatt, arrived in Saigon a few days later to represent three o the accused. He said the Army had no case against the Berets These lawyers' statements had one obvious effect: -The seven junior accused w e r e transferred from their bleak almost solitary confinement to relatively comfortable, air-conditioned quarters. Gregory and Rothblatt both appeared at a formal preliminary hearing at which the prosecution outlined its case. Among others, at least one CIA agenl lestified at the hearing. After Ihe hearing Gregory and Rolh- blatt said they thought the charges would be dropped. Despite their optimism, the situation was not so simple. Though the Berets reportedly felt strongly that they had done nothing but their duty in the Chuyen incident, it appeared hat the Army might make a case against the eight by sticking strictly to the rule book. The Army did have what one defense lawyer described as : r i m i n a t i n g statements" from two of the eight. The Army knows (hat man} of its regulations are broken range from mild indignation to outrage at the Army for press ing the case. "In all my experience as a lawyer," Williams said, "I have never seen public opinion so united in one case.' The Army's handling of the prosecution attracted the bemused attention of lawyers foi the defense. Despite the presence of Williams, F. Lee Bailey and other experienced civilian lawyers for the defense, a young and relatively inexperiencec Army major had been trustee to prosecute the case. Why didn't the Army bring in a senior lawyer from the Judge Advocate General's Corps to prose- daily, especially in wartime but the rules remain in force and the Army retains the op lion to enforce them. The Serets might have felt that they lad done nothing unusual or punishable, but 'the Army might itill have been able to prove hat they violated the law. According to reliable reports, lie debate over how to handle he case at this .delicate stage vent to the upper levels of the lixon administration. Some of- icials are said to have felt hat the case should be drop- icd. But Gen. Abrams remained convinced that it should be prosecuted, according to these cports. Some say he insisted idamantly that the case- be carried forward. held by strong personal organization as such." Wilson does believe one trend may be running against his party -- the "orneryness" of the strengthens the party out of power during mid-term elections. Democratic National Chairman Fred Harris, discussing this bonus for the "outs" with a group of newsmen, quoted an Oklahoma politician who has learned through years of prae-i lice to capitalize on the mis-i takes of (lie men in power. " I j just run against the program," is the politician's credo. In any event, the Army announced on Sept. 18 that six of the eight accused Berets would be brought before courts-martial. This was four days after Abrams returned from a quick visit to Washington. But by this time public feeling apparently had coalesced in support of the Green Berets and against any prosecution. A number of con- Then Stanley R. Resor, secretary of the Army, issued his Statement announcing that the case against the eight Berets would be dropped. The statement said the CIA, "though not directly involved in the alleged incident," would not allow its employes to testify at a court- martial. Resor said he therefore concluded that the accused could not get a fair trial so the case vould have to be dropped. The rest of the statement seemed unusual, and seemed, also, to contain a clue about the ssues that were argued inside he administration. "While it is not possible to proceed with the rials," Resor said, "T want to make it clear that the acts vhich were charged, but not iroven, represent a fundamental violation of A r m y regulations . . . " Resor also noted that the men were presumed innocent until proved guilty, but this was not good enough for several of the accused Berets, who said, in effect, that they thought Resor was trying to convict them at the same time- he was letting them off. Resor's harsh admonition that 'the Army will not and cannot :ondone unlawful acts of the dnd alleged" suggested to some ,viio have followed the case or lave been involved in it that this was the issue that bothered Abrams. The commander, according to this theory, wanted above all to demonstrate by the Green Beret case that he would not condone extralegal activities by (he troops in .Vietnam. It is a commentary on the attitude toward the case here hat the Resor statement was videly disbelieved and regarded as a cover story by many sources Involved in the case. As one asked, how could the Army have decided to bring the case to court-martial without determining in advance that the CIA witnesses would testify? And why after the Army had put seven of the suspects into near solitary confinement without privileges of rank, was there now official concern for the possibility of fair treat^ menl? Williams said that he had expected the Army In drop the case eventually, though he was surprised by the timing 'of Resor's announcement. That feeling seemed to pervade the ranks of the defendants and the defense. They did not'expect a court-martial--especially the defendants--because they did not really believe that the U.S. government would prosecute soldiers in Vietnam for the death )f a Vietnamese in highly am- )iguous circumstances. The impression here was that :he case could be described as a series of missed opportunities. The Berets missed the chance- on were denied the opportunity --to deal with Chuyen as a typ- cal wartime problem. The Army missed several chances to handle the case sensibly. The accused, it was said, misused heir time in confinement--none of them read a complete book --and Col. Rheault, who seems o have the most to lose from his episode, lost a chance to avoid it altogether. At the tfme he was given the command of the Special Forces in Vietnam, Rheault was stationed in Okinawa, the Army offered him 30 days leave to move his family to the United Stales before taking up his new assignment. But Rheault was so eager for the job thai he sent his wife and children home on their own and went immediately to Vietnam. If he had laken those 30 days, he would have been in Massachusetts when the Green Berets took the decisions that put them at the center of one of the most dramatic episodes of the war in Vietnam. American voler, who habitually gressmen publicly criticized the Army's position. Edward Bennett Williams, who came to Saigon to lead the defense of Rheault, commented that he found American opinion to be overwhelmingly sympa- Something Great At Cross Studio And Camera WATCH 814 16th St. 353-6617 Never, Never, Never on Sunday . . . B u t Many, Many Times On Monday THE Parking Brakes A word of advice from our Slate Patrol -- Parking brakes sometimes relax their hold.. When parking on a grade set the fronl wheels so lhat your cari vilf not coast into the middle of the highway. Ehrlich Sales EQUIPMENT SALE SAT., SEPT. 27, 1969-1:00 p.m. ·l'/2 miles east of Ft. Luplon on 52. 1949 Ford 8N tractor; Mollne 2 tractor with Farmhand F-11 loader; J.O. 'A' tractor; 2 more tractors will be sold. 6 trucks as shown in our later advertising. Wetmore hammer-mill. ,'very good; 1963 Marbeet model 'E 1 beet harvester; 1949 Ford |2-dr.; Dearborn NKO ctilti.; 3-pt. rear blade; 3-pt. boom; 3-pt. I rear loader; side and dump rakes; ditcher; disc; drill; Evers!man leveler: Moline 8-ft. one-way; 2 tumble plows; AC corn |picker; rubber tired wagon; misc. tools and equipment; . hay ;and straw and misc. items. ; Est. of JOHN MacGREGOR i This is National Pharmacy Week. The (lieme is Drug Abuse--Escape lo ! (Ehrl ).^, ""''. Sc ,^'A u - cUn ^ cr ? !ln(I CIcrk ' Cal1 Briffh- ! Nowhere. Some of the above drugs do have lositimate uses and are very |. nn /^l-?!^!' 09 " 0033 ' ()a9 -° 124 or J«Pon 857-9900 necessary (o modern medicine, but sonic have no use in medicine. The AI3USE of these drugs or any o t h o r drug may j;ive a temporary release from the problems of life, but it is an escape hatch t h a t leads to NOWHERE. Oon'l. "abuse any drug, b u t consult your physician and your pharmacist about Hit proper use of today's armament of fine drugs. A t (he four GILHIOKT PHARMACIES we have (en registered pharmacists to serve you. We have been serving the (Ircclcy area for (it) years and to celebrate the confidence you have had in us we are having 2 big sales. Look for our advertisement next week. for information. Saturday, Sept. 27, 1969-1:00 p.m. GILBERT'S REXALL PHARMACIES ·WELDORADO DRUG 800 9th St r » DOWNTOWN- PHARMACY 810 8th St. · WESTVIEW PHARMACY 2434 10th St. · HILLSIDE PHARMACY 2S05 11th Ave, i .Tohn K. Hull, deceased; from corner of Prospect Street and Taft Hili Roati in Fort Collins, go l\-' 4 miles South to Hull Street, then East on Hull Street to Dead End. Oliver mower; 2 sec. harrow; sprlngtooth harrow; cult, and tractor, old; hay wagon; 3 sheds to be moved; 1 alum, sldad granary to move; manure spreader; Model A engine on old truck bed and cab, runs; 3 small granaries on wagons; old Ford truck with bed and hoists, good cond.; 2 wheel trlr.; dump rake; table saw; press drill; bench grinder; Forney elec. welder; (self prop, umall loader for cleaning sheds and chicken houses; worlds of chicken equipment of all types; shop full of hand tools, garden tools and misc. Lots of ecrap iron. ALSO ARROWHEAD 17 FT. TRAVEL TRAILER, COMPLETELY FURNISHED, IN EXCELLENT CONDITION. HDRMSON H. ROSS ADAMSON REED P. ADAMSON GREELEY PHONE 353-1212 ARRANGING fu . nerol services from a distance need not be a confusing and costly matter. Just call us, and we'll make all the necessary arrangements; promptly and economically.

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