HANOI RESPONSE TO CNN LIE
Hanoi Denies CNN Tailwind Report
Hanoi's response to questions raised by Arnett's revelations: "It's a surprise to us. You'll have to ask Arnett about it." They don't seem anxious to risk what little credibility they have by signing on to Arnett's allegations.
Without their confirmation, Arnett and Van Buskirk seem to be the only two people on the planet who believe it. Apparently Hanoi had no knowledge of nerve agents being used anywhere at any time. They're still highly ticked off about agent orange though.
Reported By - Tom Rau, former USSF MSF
FORMER CNN MILITARY ANALYST EXPLAINS REASONS FOR RESIGNING. By Perry M Smith, US Air Force (ret.)
On Sunday morning, 14 June, I called I decided to resign my position as military analyst for CNN. Just before I left for church, I telephoned the CEO of the CNN News Group, Mr. Tom Johnson, to give him the news. I had been CNN's military analyst since 16 January 1991, the day the Gulf War had started. For the past couple of years, CNN had paid me a modest retainer so that I would be on call in case of a military crisis or war.
I resigned because I had fundamental objections to major portions of CNN's Newsstand which aired at 10 PM eastern time the previous Sunday night (7 June).In the Newsstand production, CNN made the case that the United States Air Force used lethal Sarin gas to kill some American defectors in Laos during the period 11-14 September 1970.
While I watched Newsstand, I had serious reservations in two major areas. Were there US military defectors in a group in Laos? Did the US use lethal gas to kill them? The fundamentals of the story just didn't ring true to me. I had flown over Laos for a year from August, 1968 to August, 1969, amassing 130 combat sorties (as well as 50 over North Vietnam).
I was the weapons and tactics officer for the 555th Fighter Squadron which flew out of Udorn Air Base in Thailand. During that time and since, I had never heard of the presence of a group of American defectors in Laos or the use of lethal gas by anyone in the American military.
There had been some reports of the North Vietnamese military using a lethal gas called "yellow rain" to kill both enemy soldiers and Laotian civilians but not even a rumor had ever reached my attention of the use of lethal gas by the American military. This story so worried me that I got very little sleep for the next week.
In some ways this was a blessing since it gave me time to surf the internet at night and make phone calls during the day. If I could validate the story, I planned to support CNN's effort to shed light on this heinous act of 28 years ago. If, however, these allegations were in error, I planned to make an effort to have CNN retract the story.
I decided that the most productive avenue of inquiry and research was not to determine if defectors were in Laos, but if lethal gas was used. Having written six non-fiction books, I had some experience in doing research. I quickly learned that gas had been delivered that day by two aircraft flying out of an airbase in Thailand, Nakhon Phanom. I talked individually to both pilots by telephone and they each told me that he had carried and dropped CS gas, which is a strong, non-lethal tear gas.
One pilot, Art Bishop, had maintained a diary which had a 15 September 1970 notation which stated that on the previous day he had dropped two loads of CBU-30 (CS gas). I then went to my favorite Air Force historian of the Vietnam era.He has helped me many times in the past, has access to an extensive data base and has always given me carefully researched and accurate data. I asked him to take examine the records for munitions expenditures on 14 September by A-1 aircraft flying out of NKP.
By Wednesday he had the answer--CBU-30 (Tear Gas). I asked him if there was any possibility that lethal gas was used. He said he had examined that issue with great care and found it impossible. There were no storage facilities for nerve gas at NKP, nor any nerve gas of any kind there. We then discussed at length how CNN might have become confused. He had a thesis.
In the years prior to 1969, CS gas had been delivered by a dispenser which shot the gas canisters out the back. A new dispenser (the SUU-13) had been designed which was quite different in that it pushed the gas canisters straight down. If the SUU-13 was loaded with CS tear gas, the bomb was called a CBU-30. However, if the same dispenser was loaded with lethal nerve gas, the bomb was called a CBU-15. It is possible that the use of the identical dispenser for both bombs may have caused confusion between the tear gas bomb and the nerve gas bomb.
By September 1970, the Air Force had been using CBU-30s in Southeast Asia for over a year to help rescue Americans and allied troops closely pursued by enemy ground forces. Once I was certain that the logistics and munitions records were solid, I decided to surf the net to try to find someone with evidence that there were nerve agents (or even hints or rumors of them) anywhere in the combat theater. I also made many phone calls, concentrating heavily on people who had been stationed at NKP.
I could find no one who could validate the charge. I became convinced by Thursday morning that the nerve gas portion of the CNN story was in error. I then attempted to get the senior leadership of CNN to put together a major retraction of Newsstand.
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