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ARMY ADMITS SLAUGHTER AT
NO GUN RI, BUT STONEWALLS
ON WHO GAVE ORDERS TO SHOOT


When an investigation by The Associated Press revealed hundreds of South Korean refugees were gunned down by American troops in the early days of the Korean War at No Gun Ri, the Pentagon went into full court press denying any involvement in the slaughter.

That was in September 1999. In April of this year, The AP won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting and relatives of survivors in Korea came forward confirming the killings.

Secretary of Defense William Cohen went into "damage control" mode and before you can blink, appointed an eight-member "blue ribbon" advisory panel to investigate what happened.

One of those members is former California Congressman Pete McCloskey, a Marine officer in the Korean War and a man of unimpeachable integrity.

Now, with sensitive negotiations going on with the South Koreans, the Pentagon line is "some number" of civilians were killed, but they "don't know how many." Sure! The Army also claims "no evidence could be found" that U.S. troops were ordered to fire on the refugees who huddled under a railroad bridge at No Gun Ri in July 1950.

McCloskey, always known for his ability to cut through the "BS," is having none of it.

"We have seen statements from one officer and nine enlisted men who were actually there, which referred to those orders," the tough-talking Marine said. "Unless the Army has information we have not seen yet, I can't understand how they reached their conclusion."

Actually the former GOP lawmaker was being diplomatic. He knows, and those on the inside know, the Army and Cohen want to "low-ball" the casualty count and find no direct order given because of "political" reasons.

To admit the truth might put the United States in the position of having to actually pay financial compensation to the families of the South Korean victims. About 170 families are seeking damages in the massacre.

On Cohen's watch , why admit the truth when a lie or half-truth will suffice? It doesn't do anything to help the Pentagon's credibility, but these cynical politicians figure they've gotten away with so many lies and distortions in the past why not continue?


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