History of a cover-up

How the Army used slime-and-defend against Lt. Col. Herbert’s accurate reports of torture in Vietnam.

There’s really no mystery about why John Kerry’s war-hero credentials didn’t protect him from Bush and the SwiftBoaters; after he was a war hero, and for a longer period, he was an anti-war hero. He was involved with the “Winter Soldier” campaign to unmask U.S. atrocities in Vietnam. Conservatives and libertarians, who seem suspect all bureaucrats except for the bureaucrats in uniform, were happy to repeat the claim that Winter Soldier exaggerated the extent of the problem.

Now (too late, as usual) the LA Times reports on the details of the Army’s effort to cover up the atrocities reported by Lt. Col. Anthony Herbert, and to slime Herbert in the process. In fact, the Army’s own criminal investigators discovered far more wrongdoing that Herbert had reported, but no soldier suffered a DD or spent a single day in jail for any of the incidents, including at least one in which the victim died.

Suddenly Winter Soldier is looking a lot more credible.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

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