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The Green Beret Affair. Vietnam. 1969

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During the Vietnam War, Special Forces often worked with the CIA on covert intelligence gathering missions. One of those units was Project GAMMA. On 6 August 1969, the commander of 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and 7 other Green Berets were arrested and charged with the murder of a Vietnamese double agent.

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The Green Beret Affair. Vietnam. 1969

  1. 1. The Green Beret Affair and the Execution of a Double Agent NEW YORK MINUTE
  2. 2. THE GREEN BERET AFFAIR During the Vietnam War, Special Forces often worked with the CIA on covert intelligence gathering missions. One of those units was Project GAMMA. On 6 August 1969, the commander of 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and 7 other Green Berets were arrested and charged with the murder of a Vietnamese double agent. NEW YORK MINUTE
  3. 3. GAMMA was responsible for running intelligence gathering teams into Cambodia, initiated in 1967. It’s estimated GAMMA produced 65% of usable intelligence on Cambodia and 75% on South Vietnam. Because these missions were technically illegal since Cambodia was off limits to the US, these missions were supervised by the CIA. GAMMA was careful not to allow the South Vietnamese military in on these ops as they were known to be deeply compromised with enemy agents. NEW YORK MINUTE THE GREEN BERET AFFAIR
  4. 4. In 1969, GAMMA teams were getting ambushed on a regular basis. As if the NVA knew the ops ahead of time. A picture was captured from an NVA base camp and it showed on of GAMMA agents, Thai Khac Chuyen, with North Vietnamese intelligence officers. NEW YORK MINUTE THE GREEN BERET AFFAIR
  5. 5. Chuyen was brought in for questioning and a polygraph. He was also administered Sodium Pentothal. It was discovered Chuyen was working as a triple agent, not just supplying intelligence to the NVA but also the South Vietnamese about GAMMA’s operations. GAMMA reported the problem to its CIA handlers in Saigon. The response was “terminate the agent with extreme prejudice”, a term that has moved into our lexicon. NEW YORK MINUTE THE GREEN BERET AFFAIR
  6. 6. THE GREEN BERET AFFAIR Several SF personnel drugged Chuyen, took him on a boat into Nha Trang Harbor, and executed him. They wrapped his body in chains and threw it into the sea. The cover story was that he’d disappeared on a cross-border mission. NEW YORK MINUTE
  7. 7. THE GREEN BERET AFFAIR Unfortunately, Chuyen’s handler, not a Special Forces soldier, became fearful for his own safety and reported the incident. It reached General Abrams, the commander of US Forces in Vietnam and no fan of Special Forces. NEW YORK MINUTE
  8. 8. THE GREEN BERET AFFAIR “Get up there and clean all those bastards out!”, General Abrams order. He had Colonel Rheault, the Group Commander (and later the model for Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now) and seven other Green Berets arrested, confined in Long Binh Jail, and charged with premeditated murder. NEW YORK MINUTE
  9. 9. THE GREEN BERET AFFAIR Reporters found out about the arrests and the story went public. The sentiment was that the Green Berets were being made scapegoats by the CIA and the Army. After all, isn’t it a soldier’s job to kill the enemy? The defense made a motion to dismiss, given there was no body. General Abrams, in the midst of the war, diverted naval assets to drag Nha Trang Harbor and divers to search for the body. NEW YORK MINUTE
  10. 10. THE GREEN BERET AFFAIR NY Times 15 August 1969 NEW YORK MINUTE
  11. 11. THE GREEN BERET AFFAIR The key problem for all the politicians, the Army, and the CIA was that at the same time, President Nixon was conducting illegal, covert B-52 bombing of Cambodia. This was so secret that nuclear Fail Safe bombers were diverted from that mission to conduct the bombing. NEW YORK MINUTE
  12. 12. THE GREEN BERET AFFAIR Fearing the political fallout, the Secretary of the Army dismissed the charges against the Green Berets. This was done, but the careers of all were ruined. Colonel Rheault retired. Col. Robert Rheault upon returning to the US with his then wife in 1969. NEW YORK MINUTE
  13. 13. THE GREEN BERET AFFAIR Daniel Ellsberg is reported to have been motivated by the Green Beret Affair to make his decision to release the Pentagon Papers to the media. NEW YORK MINUTE
  14. 14. THE GREEN BERET AFFAIR In New York Minute, the main character, William Kane, participated in a fictional event based on the Green Beret Affair. This has had large implications in his life, even as the story begins in New York City in 1977. Especially when the CIA handler from the Affair shows up at his apartment. NEW YORK MINUTE
  15. 15. Click on the cover for buy links in eBook, Print and Audio Rambo meets Breaking Bad in New York City in the summer of 1977, culminating during the citywide blackout.
  16. 16. Kane’s journey will continue in Lawyers, Guns and Money and then Walk On The Wild Side
  17. 17. NEW YORK MINUTE Other free slideshows (loaded or will be loaded soon)
  18. 18. NEW YORK MINUTE Other free slideshows (loaded or will be loaded soon)
  19. 19. NEW YORK MINUTE Other free slideshows (loaded or will be loaded soon) And more to come!
  20. 20. New York Times bestselling author, graduate of West Point, former Green Beret, and feeder of Cool Gus. He’s had over 75 books published, including the #1 bestselling series Green Berets, Time Patrol, Area 51, and Atlantis. He’s sold over 5 million books. Born in the Bronx and having traveled the world. He’s lived on an island off the east coast, an island off the west coast, in the Rocky Mountains and other places, including time in the Orient studying martial arts. He now lives peacefully with his wife and dogs. www.bobmayer.com

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