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'Perfect Spy' tells an incredible tale [spy was a journalist, and helped kill U.S. troops]
FresnoBee.com ^ | May 27, 2007 | Blair Anthony Robertson

Posted on 06/02/2007 9:56:42 AM PDT by 68skylark

SACRAMENTO -- Larry Berman, a political science professor at the University of California at Davis, is in the middle of a hectic publicity schedule for the launch of his new book, "Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An."

An, who died in 2006, was a longtime spy for the Communist Party in Vietnam and is credited with playing a major role in Vietnam's victory over the United States. A gifted conversationalist, An worked for Time magazine in Vietnam, befriending many of the era's leading journalists. But before that, he went to college in California and had a brief internship at The Sacramento Bee where, among other stories, he wrote a first-person account of his purported crusade against Communist propaganda. The piece made him a local celebrity and solidified his cover for years to come.

Berman, 56, sat down recently to talk about the book.

Question: How did Pham Xuan An become so successful as a spy?

Answer: He spent a lot of time developing his cover. All the people I interviewed for the book said they liked him because he could fit in. He could joke with people. He spoke English. He liked to joke. He really went to school studying the Americans. He studied how the CIA interacted with people, how college coeds interacted in Orange County.

He came to California to go to college in the late 1950s on assignment? He was developing as a spy?

He had no choice. He did not want to go, but his party ordered him to do it. This is what is the most interesting thing to me historically about his whole life, the foresight of the Communist Vietnamese. In 1955, to recognize that the United States was slowly but surely coming ... the Vietnamese would not be allowed to determine their future.

(Excerpt) Read more at fresnobee.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: communismkills; enemedia; espionage; herooftheleft; janefonda; phamxuanan; spy; timemagazine; vietnam
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No one will be real surprised to learn a Vietnamese spy was working as a jounralist for the MSM. (In this case, he worked for Time magazine.)

I'm suprised that his former co-workers continued to admire him and keep on friendly terms even after they learned he was spying for the North, and that his information helped kill Americans.

Honestly, for all the complaints here about the MSM, I don't enjoy seeing them as the "enemy" of the U.S. and U.S. military. Unfortunately, they sometimes seem determined to take on that role.

1 posted on 06/02/2007 9:56:45 AM PDT by 68skylark
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To: 68skylark

Gee, I’m shocked.


2 posted on 06/02/2007 9:58:38 AM PDT by Crazieman (The Democratic Party: Culture of Treason)
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To: 68skylark
Ben Stein has a great column about this guy, and his relations with the U.S. media

A New Yorker Kind of Guy
By Ben Stein
Published 6/9/2005 12:09:02 AM

If you wanted to see the perfect example of the ethical and moral collapse of the Mainstream Media, you could not do better than a long article in the New Yorker of May 23, 2005. The article is entitled, "The Spy Who Loved Us." Written by a teacher at the University of Albany, named Thomas Bass, it's about a man named Pham Xuan An. Now very old, An was -- among many other things -- a correspondent in Saigon during the Vietnam War for Time magazine. He was apparently considered a particularly brilliant and well-informed correspondent and very well liked by his colleagues in the Western press corps during the war.

He was also a Communist spy, working for the North Vietnamese, informing them of what he knew about American military plans, troop movements, political agendas.

He even helped the Communists win large battles by directing Vietcong and North Vietnamese troops against American and South Vietnamese forces. He helped plan the Tet Offensive of 1968, including helping the man who planned the attack on the U.S. Embassy. This was the offensive where thousands of innocent civilians were massacred by the Communists.

When the war ended, An offered to go to the U.S. and continue spying for the Communists there. The offer was denied and he lives quietly in Ho Chi Minh City, where, among other pets, he keeps fighting cocks -- a practice generally considered barbaric in the circles of New Yorker readers, but another sign of his cuteness to Professor Bass. In fact, the whole article is about how cute and smart and clever and brave a guy An is. A lovable, brilliant, brave man who sent Americans and innocent civilians to their deaths. Bass even explains that almost all of An's former colleagues in the Western press still love the guy after learning he was a spy for America's enemy in the Vietnam War. They even gave money to bring him here for an auld lang syne visit not long ago.

In this article, which I would guess to be about 8,000 words or more, there is not one hint, not one whisper, of sympathy for the American soldiers who fought and died or were maimed in Vietnam. Not one sliver of anger at a man who took American money and helped kill Americans. Not a word about the mass murder of civilians during Tet.

Prof. Bass, the perfect modern academic, obviously greatly admires this man, spent days with him, and has not one bad word to say about An's bosses, who, again, killed civilians without remorse by the thousands, who even sent An to be "re-educated" after the war because he had so much contact with Western ideas.

I am not sure how many mothers or fathers or children or widows of Vietnam war casualties read the New Yorker. I am not sure if anyone who edited the piece -- and it is edited well, although utterly without moral input -- had friends or family who fought there (such as my late father in law, Col. Dale Denman, Jr.). But how insulting, how insulting must an article like this be to them. How insulting it is to us all: to lavish praise on a man who helped kill our fellow Americans, to describe him in endearing terms, to try to make him seem like a kindly uncle.

If the New Yorker is one of the flagships of the Mainstream Media fleet, they are sailing in maddeningly disloyal, contemptuous waters and obviously have been for a while. Small wonder the media gloried in Mark Felt and Watergate last week. In those days, Americans actually trusted the Mainstream Media. The New Yorker piece by Prof. Bass makes it clear how wrong we were. He's a fine writer but a man whose piece lacks any moral compass at all. And what of the fellow journalists in Saigon cheering him on? Now we know a bit more about why the war turned out as it did.

3 posted on 06/02/2007 9:59:45 AM PDT by 68skylark
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To: 68skylark; SandRat; ExTexasRedhead; SJackson; Old Sarge; airborne; fieldmarshaldj

This is beyond appalling. First of all that a man who helped kill U.S troops is allowed to become an American citizen without even serving jail time, and that his colleagues in the press and academia still dmire him.

This says more about the MSM and academia than it does about him.


4 posted on 06/02/2007 9:59:54 AM PDT by Clintonfatigued (If the GOP were to stop worshiping Free Trade as if it were a religion, they'd win every election)
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To: Crazieman

Did John Kerry write the forward???


5 posted on 06/02/2007 10:00:35 AM PDT by Perdogg (congratulations - you have just won an ipod nano)
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To: 68skylark

Silly me. You mean there was only one? And here I thought every “journalist” working the Vietnam beat during the war was a commie.


6 posted on 06/02/2007 10:00:45 AM PDT by mort56
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To: 68skylark
Thanks to Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit for pointing out this story. The permalink is here.
7 posted on 06/02/2007 10:01:15 AM PDT by 68skylark
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To: 68skylark

One of hundreds, if not thousands, since the WWII era. Of course the useful idiots love them.


8 posted on 06/02/2007 10:02:55 AM PDT by M203M4 (Vote Fruity Giuliani or the terrists will win! Abortion & gun control = price for freedumb!)
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To: Clintonfatigued
I don’t believe he ever became a U.S. citizen, unless I missed that part of the story. After the war he wanted to return to the U.S. (maybe to continue spying, or maybe to enjoy a better life than under Communism, or maybe both). His superiors wouldn’t let him leave Vietnam.
9 posted on 06/02/2007 10:03:25 AM PDT by 68skylark
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To: mort56

There sure are more then one working in Iraq.


10 posted on 06/02/2007 10:03:57 AM PDT by mimaw
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To: 68skylark
Where does An rank as a spy?

I consider him to be one of the great spies of the 20th century.

He didn’t spy for money or glory. He spied just for his country.

Whether he was an enemy or not, I consider that a noble thing.


Pretending to be s journalist and getting AMERICANS killed is a “NOBLE THING”?

This author probably considers terrorist “noble” since they are doing the SAME THING now.

11 posted on 06/02/2007 10:04:40 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: 68skylark

>>An, who died in 2006, was a longtime spy for the Communist Party in Vietnam and is credited with playing a major role in Vietnam’s victory over the United States.<<

Vietnam’s “victory” over the United States was made possible solely by the Democrat-controlled Congress. The Dems were traitors then and traitors now.

That aside, word that a commie spy was in the employ of Time magazine surely set Clarie Booth Luce spinnin’ in her grave.


12 posted on 06/02/2007 10:04:43 AM PDT by KingSnorky
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To: 68skylark

but, but, but only American journalist are spys.


13 posted on 06/02/2007 10:05:49 AM PDT by Wheee The People (Go FRed)
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To: 68skylark

“his former co-workers continued to admire him and keep on friendly terms even after they learned he was spying’

I can’t find that in the article even after reading it twice. Would you please quote that datum?


14 posted on 06/02/2007 10:06:30 AM PDT by gcruse
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To: 68skylark
Question: How did Pham Xuan An become so successful as a spy?

Let me answer that one. He was successful because the journalists were on his side. Even if they had KNOWN he was a spy, most of them would have been delighted to help, by the time the war was winding down, because they were--and still are--on the same side.

15 posted on 06/02/2007 10:07:21 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: 68skylark
What was it like being around a guy who smokes all the time?

it's o.k. to be around a slime murderer but a smoker! this is to be condemned!

16 posted on 06/02/2007 10:07:35 AM PDT by gusopol3
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: gcruse

Ah, ok. I see it in Stein’s column.


18 posted on 06/02/2007 10:10:17 AM PDT by gcruse
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To: 68skylark

I wonder how many more Pham Xuan Ans there are in the so-called mainstream media right now, feeding information directly to our enemies.


19 posted on 06/02/2007 10:12:14 AM PDT by jpl ("Player haters, elevators, you cross me, you die." - Wise Lebron)
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To: JackRyanCIA

at that time, weren’t they coming out from Henry Luce? There were probably still some conservatives, or at least pro-Americans.


20 posted on 06/02/2007 10:15:47 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: Clintonfatigued
you got to love these "brave" people who don't confess until they are old and frail...

shame on us for not trusting our own instincts....

shame on us for worrying about the world...

21 posted on 06/02/2007 10:16:13 AM PDT by cherry
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To: Clintonfatigued
you got to love these "brave" people who don't confess until they are old and frail...

shame on us for not trusting our own instincts....

shame on us for worrying about the world...

22 posted on 06/02/2007 10:16:19 AM PDT by cherry
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To: gcruse
I can’t find that in the article even after reading it twice. Would you please quote that datum?

Sure. I'm mostly looking at this paragraph from the Ben Stein column. It summarizes the positive feelings of his former co-workers, and it summarizes the positive feelings of the New Yorker writer, Thomas Bass:

When the war ended, An offered to go to the U.S. and continue spying for the Communists there. The offer was denied and he lives quietly in Ho Chi Minh City, where, among other pets, he keeps fighting cocks -- a practice generally considered barbaric in the circles of New Yorker readers, but another sign of his cuteness to Professor Bass. In fact, the whole article is about how cute and smart and clever and brave a guy An is. A lovable, brilliant, brave man who sent Americans and innocent civilians to their deaths. Bass even explains that almost all of An's former colleagues in the Western press still love the guy after learning he was a spy for America's enemy in the Vietnam War. They even gave money to bring him here for an auld lang syne visit not long ago.

23 posted on 06/02/2007 10:17:17 AM PDT by 68skylark
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: 68skylark

Journalism in America has developed into a forum for Treason and Sedition. That has been obvious since the Korean War.


25 posted on 06/02/2007 10:20:50 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: JackRyanCIA

admittedly, Whittaker Chambers was long gone.


26 posted on 06/02/2007 10:22:08 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: 68skylark

There are only 3 degrees of separation between western liberals and the communist party anyways. Leftist travelers all travel together.


27 posted on 06/02/2007 10:23:28 AM PDT by Buffettfan (VIVA LA MIGRA! - LONG LIVE THE MINUTEMEN!)
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To: 68skylark
I'm suprised that his former co-workers continued to admire him and
keep on friendly terms even after they learned he was spying for
the North, and that his information helped kill Americans.

Honestly, for all the complaints here about the MSM, I don't enjoy
seeing them as the "enemy" of the U.S. and U.S. military.


You are being too kind (usually, I am as well).

But consideration of "aid and comfort to the enemy" tells you
all you need to know about too many members of the MSM.

I remember seeing a "game simulation" on TV a few years back about
what might happen during terror attacks on the USA (participants
included members/ex-members of goverment, military, media and
medical community).

My blood simultaneously ran cold AND boiled when Frank Sesno (sp?)
of CNN said that if he was the boss of a reporter that came into
possession about sensitve information on a terror plot, he'd probably
publish it even if the government begged him to delay publication.

Too many journalists (even our home-grown) see themselves
as journalists first.
With their US citizenship ranking further down the list of their
priorities.
28 posted on 06/02/2007 10:25:25 AM PDT by VOA
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS
Journalism in America has developed into a forum for Treason and Sedition. That has been obvious since the Korean War.

Well you could say the same thing about a very large number of journalists during the Revolutionary War (Royalists), the quasi-war with France (anti-Federalists), the War of 1812 (nearly all of New England, especially early in the war), the War with Mexico (lots of folks), and especially the Civil War (Copperheads), not to mention anti-imperalists during the Spanish-American war. Hostile reporters are not a new phenomenon.

29 posted on 06/02/2007 10:26:10 AM PDT by 68skylark
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To: 68skylark

And even more significant, he worked for the McClatchy system in Kaleefornia.


30 posted on 06/02/2007 10:29:11 AM PDT by Enterprise (I can't talk about liberals anymore because some of the words will get me sent to rehab.)
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To: Clintonfatigued

“I consider him to be one of the great spies of the 20th century.

He didn’t spy for money or glory. He spied just for his country.”

This is rubbish. What did he really accomplish? I mean in our open society he had access to information all Americans do.

He could have been the greatest spy of the 20th century if he had come over to our side, and spied for us.


31 posted on 06/02/2007 10:30:01 AM PDT by nikos1121 (Thank you again Jimmy Carter.)
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To: nikos1121
You left out the last sentence of that quote, which may be most important of all:

He didn't spy for money or glory. He spied just for his country.

Whether he was an enemy or not, I consider that a noble thing.

32 posted on 06/02/2007 10:32:35 AM PDT by 68skylark
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To: JackRyanCIA

it’s coming back to me now. It is said that Mandy Grunwald’s father purged the staff and took it to the left. I’m not sure when that happened though.


33 posted on 06/02/2007 10:33:39 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: 68skylark

But today reporters have a vastly enlarged and more rapid “news” delivery mechanism. “Three weeks of media treatment and the truth is recognized by all.” The rapid drumfire of thesis and counterthesis is irresistible. Very few can attain the inward detachment necessary even think through the latest rescript. Most of us think to order. This started in WWI.


34 posted on 06/02/2007 10:33:56 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: VOA

Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings discuss “impartial” reporting vs. loyalty to the homeland during wartime...

Jennings & Wallace, reporters first, Americans second

Youtube clip...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGg_dpGhlf0

They will “leak” US plans but sit on their hands when it comes to the enemy. CNN covered up torture and abuse under Saddam Hussein to maintain their Baghdad Bureay. They had no such qualms when it came to blowing the actions at Abu Ghraib out of proportion... anything to unseat President Bush. They could’ve at least disclosed that it was the disgruntled uncle of one of the charged men who leaked the photos to the media when he was unable to secure a plea bargain for his nephew.


35 posted on 06/02/2007 10:34:32 AM PDT by weegee (Libs want us to learn to live with terrorism, but if a gun is used they want to rewrite the Const.)
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To: weegee

Thanks for the post.
I knew I’d heard at least one of our MSM luminaries say they were
reporters first, Americans second...just could not specifically recall
who it was that said it.


36 posted on 06/02/2007 10:37:14 AM PDT by VOA
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To: 68skylark
He was also a Communist spy, working for the North Vietnamese

He spied to expand the North Vietnamese Communist empire.

It wasn't about "protecting" North Vietnam. It was about DEFEATING South Vietnam and making it all Communist.

That isn't patriotism, that is COMMUNISM.

37 posted on 06/02/2007 10:37:58 AM PDT by weegee (Libs want us to learn to live with terrorism, but if a gun is used they want to rewrite the Const.)
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To: 68skylark

Kruschev (sp) said (paraphrased), We’ll spit in your eyes and you Americans will say, “My my, isn’t the dew heavy today?”


38 posted on 06/02/2007 10:40:52 AM PDT by Humidston (THOMPSON/WATTS - 2008)
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To: jpl

Time Magazine has an Australian journalist embedded with the “insurgency” in the current war. He was with them when Saddam was captured and is proud of his actions.

He is a co-conspirator since he does not out the terrorists who strike today.


39 posted on 06/02/2007 10:41:15 AM PDT by weegee (Libs want us to learn to live with terrorism, but if a gun is used they want to rewrite the Const.)
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To: VOA

Peter Jennings was a Canadian first and American second. While he became an American citizen (after 20 years on American television telling us what to think), he still proclaimed himself a “dual citizen” and a Canadian. I think he got US citizenship just to vote against President Bush.


40 posted on 06/02/2007 10:43:45 AM PDT by weegee (Libs want us to learn to live with terrorism, but if a gun is used they want to rewrite the Const.)
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To: 68skylark
You're an avid runner and a healthy guy. What was it like being around a guy who smokes all the time?

Only a highly trained and well-indoctrinated liberal journalist would think to ask a question like that.

41 posted on 06/02/2007 10:44:53 AM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: weegee
While he became an American citizen (after 20 years on American television
telling us what to think), he still proclaimed himself a “dual citizen”
and a Canadian.


If he was keeping one foot on the Canadian side of the border in
hopes that socialized medicine would save him...
he was sadly very wrong!
42 posted on 06/02/2007 10:49:23 AM PDT by VOA
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To: 68skylark
Go draw a parallel with MSN coverage of Iraq.
Both the Dem party and the MSM joined forces to whiteflag and run.
43 posted on 06/02/2007 10:50:53 AM PDT by hermgem (The same)
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To: 68skylark
How has nobody commented on this particular sentence yet:

He came to California to go to college in the late 1950s on assignment? He was developing as a spy?

He had no choice. He did not want to go, but his party ordered him to do it. This is what is the most interesting thing to me historically about his whole life, the foresight of the Communist Vietnamese. In 1955, to recognize that the United States was slowly but surely coming -- even though the French had been defeated, even though the Japanese had been defeated -- the Vietnamese would not be allowed to determine their future...

I see...so the Communist North Vietnamese were holding open and fair elections at the time and asking everybody in the country their opinion about what form of government Vietnam should adopt until those pesky Americans and their damn choppers showed up and started shooting up the place? Is that really the lie liberals tell themselves to cover their cowardice in Vietnam and condemning generations of Vietnamese to Communist rule? Puh-LEEEZE. And don't even get me started on Cambodia. The Left has more blood on their hands from Vietnam era foreign policy (if we can even call it "policy") than Hannibal Lechter.

jas3
44 posted on 06/02/2007 10:58:47 AM PDT by jas3
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To: Clintonfatigued

In this same anti-American vein:

1. TheMSM admiration for Fidel.
2. The refusal to recognize the Rosenburgs as traitors even aften proof positive was discovered in Russian archives.
3. The continued antipathy toward McCarthy’s hunt for spies in gvt. and Holywood.
4. Refusal to brand Algier Hiss a traitor after proof from Russian archives and continued hate for Whitaker Chambers (ex-Communist who also worked for Time)for testifying against Hiss.
5. Continued fawning over Jane Fonda, US traitor and accused (by former POWs)murdererss of POWs.

These are just some of the more egregiious items. One could go on for pages.

God bless America and God help us to continue to fight the good fight against her destroyers.

vaudine


45 posted on 06/02/2007 10:59:12 AM PDT by vaudine
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To: 68skylark

If the article hadn’t stated he died, I’d say he’s currently employed at the New York Times.


46 posted on 06/02/2007 10:59:32 AM PDT by RasterMaster (BUILD THE WALL, ENFORCE THE LAW! Duncan Hunter - President 2008)
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To: jas3
Yeah, I noticed that sentence too. There are just so many objectionable things in this whole story that it's hard to point them all out. But you're right on the money -- equating communist expansion with "self determination" is quite a stretch.

I guess there were quite a few Vietnamese who fell in with communism because the communists seemed to offer the best path to independence. But it was a bad bargain for them and their country, and we shouldn't white-wash that fact today like the left in the U.S. does.

47 posted on 06/02/2007 11:14:07 AM PDT by 68skylark
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To: 68skylark
I'm suprised that his former co-workers continued to admire him and keep on friendly terms even after they learned he was spying for the North, and that his information helped kill Americans.

How many Islmo-wackos you suppose work for AOLTimeWarnerCNN right now? We know that many work more or less openly for Al Reuters and AP. They only get fired when they get caught in blatant fabrications, not just when their reportage is blatantly biased.

48 posted on 06/02/2007 11:47:37 AM PDT by El Gato (The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: 68skylark
He helped plan the Tet Offensive of 1968, including helping the man who planned the attack on the U.S. Embassy. This was the offensive where thousands of innocent civilians were massacred by the Communists.

And I bet he was a "contributor" to the stories which made Tet out to be a Victory for the VC and NVA. Which it most assuredly was not, except on SEE-BS, in Time, Life, etc, and of course in the halls of Congress.

49 posted on 06/02/2007 11:49:49 AM PDT by El Gato (The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: 68skylark

Journalism in America has developed into a forum for Treason and Sedition. That has been obvious since the Korean War.
Well you could say the same thing about a very large number of journalists during the Revolutionary War (Royalists), the quasi-war with France (anti-Federalists), the War of 1812 (nearly all of New England, especially early in the war), the War with Mexico (lots of folks), and especially the Civil War (Copperheads), not to mention anti-imperalists during the Spanish-American war. Hostile reporters are not a new phenomenon.
*****

Those earlier cases were different. The Civil War, for example, did not have Americans opting to turn the country over to the Barbary pirates. Both sides in the Civil War were fighting for home and country. That is much different from simply being on the enemy side.

We had rather few outright traitors in WWII, except for some communists working under cover in the FDR administration. Later on, things changed. Today, much of the media is on the other side, and are plainly anti-American.


50 posted on 06/02/2007 11:53:03 AM PDT by docbnj
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