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The Final Chapter of a Foolish Vietnam War

Jul 06, 2020 | 0 comments


The familiar, humiliating image below of the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon on April 30, 1975 is one many people who were around in those days will recall. Following the signing of the Paris Peace Agreement on January 27, 1973 between the United States, The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam), The Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) and The Republic of South Vietnam (PRG--which represented the Viet Cong in South Vietnam), the U.S. agreed to withdraw its combat forces from Vietnam. At that time, the government of South Vietnam controlled 80% of the territory and 90% of the...

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A Gentleman in Laos Long Ago

Jun 29, 2020 | 0 comments


We have long talked about the illegal war in Laos and the impact it had on many of us. There were legal complications that few could have envisioned. As Esso was engaged in a profitable business brought about by an illegal war, they chose to keep no financial records in Laos should the country be overrun by the bad guys and their role exposed. On the other hand, Lao law required that anyone doing business in Laos was obliged to keep their accounting records in Laos so as to be available for immediate audit and scrutiny by the Lao Ministry...

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The Purity of A White Rose

Jun 22, 2020 | 0 comments


Jack Anderson of the Washington Post published an article in 1969 regarding the war in Laos. He ignored the fact that the war was illegal though he claimed “rampant contractor corruption” in its execution. Forget the fact that U.S. forces had been illegally seconded in Laos carrying United States Agency of International Development (humanitarian) identity cards, though they were directing guerilla and mercenary armies to fight and drop bombs. The shocking headline was Esso, where the author worked at the time, was accused of bribing the U.S. Government Naval Inspector with women. The alleged objective was to overlook safety measures...

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Air America Serves Hard Rice and Hot Soup

Jun 15, 2020 | 0 comments


In May 1997, at the unveiling of the Air America Memorial at The University of Texas Dallas McDermott Library at Richardson, former CIA director William Colby, said that Air America aircraft were not combat aircraft but only used as transport aircraft. However, Dr. Joe F. Leeker, obtained sufficient visual documentation in the very library dedicated by Colby to prove otherwise. Most of the images were taken by Air America personnel as there were no correspondents in the neighborhood. Unlike the conflict in Vietnam, the secret war in Laos did not welcome the news media. In fact, to leave the capital...

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Living in an Imaginary World Without Borders

Jun 08, 2020 | 0 comments


A further illustration of "living on the edge" is imagining that identity papers are not required for international travel to difficult places. Granted, papers are always good if needed and you can obtain them. However, over the years, a general rule has evolved and that is - know the place well and understand the consequences of not having them. The first example of traveling without papers was a quiet boat crossing of the Mekong River into Laos on either side of "the troubles." That particular visit went upside down when Lao Force Army Royale military tracked down the only paleface...

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