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Full-text: July 15 1971 p.m. hearing (pages 95-122)
Rigged elections, censorship, puppet government
Punishing political opposition, exit strategy
CIA/DoD Phoenix Program:
Targeting non-combatants (civilians)
Torture and murdering prisoners

CIS: 72 H401-3 SuDoc: Y 4.G 74/7:V 67/4

U.S. Assistance Programs in Vietnam








July 15 {a.m., p.m.}, 16, 19, 21; and August 2, 1971


Printed for the use of the Committee on Government Operations

GPO mark




Chet Holifield, California, Chairman

Jack Brooks, TexasFlorence P. Dwyer, New Jersey
L. H. Fountain, North CarolinaOgden R. Reid. New York
Robert E. Jones, AlabamaFrank Horton, New York
Edward A. Garmatz, MarylandJohn N. Erlenborn, Illinois
John E. Moss, CaliforniaJohn W. Wydler, New York
Dante B. Fascell, FloridaClarence J. Brown, Ohio
Henry S. Reuss, WisconsinGuy Vander Jagt, Michigan
John S. Monagan, ConnecticutGilbert Gude, Maryland
Torbert H. MacDonald, MassachusettsPaul N. McCloskey, Jr., California
William S. Moorhead, PennsylvaniaJohn H. Buchanan, Jr., Alabama
Cornelius E. Gallagher, New JerseySam Steiger, Arizona
Wm. J. Randall, MissouriGarry Brown, Michigan
Benjamin S. Rosenthal, New YorkBarry M. Goldwater, Jr., California
Jim Wright, TexasJ. Kenneth Robinson, Virginia
Fernand J. St Germain, Rhode IslandWalter E. Powell, Ohio
John C. Culver, IowaCharles Thone, Nebraska
Floyd V. Hicks, Washington
George W. Collins, Illinois
Don Fuqua, Florida
John Conyers, Jr., Michigan
Bill Alexander, Arkansas
Bella S. Abzug, New York

Herbert Roback, Staff Director
Christine Ray Davis, Staff Administrator
James A. Lanigan, General Counsel
Miles Q. Romney, Associate General Counsel
J. P. Carlson, Minority Counsel
William H. Copenhaver, Minority Professional Staff



William S. Moorhead, Pennsylvania, Chairman

John E. Moss, CaliforniaOgden R. Reid, New York
Torbert H. MacDonald, MassachusettsFrank Horton, New York
Jim Wright, TexasJohn N. Erlenborn, Illinois
John Conyers, Jr., MichiganPaul N. McCloskey, Jr., California
Bill Alexander, Arkansas
Chet Holifield, CaliforniaFlorence P. Dwyer, New Jersey

William G. Phillips, Staff Director
Norman G. Cornish, Deputy Staff Director
Harold F. Whittington, Staff Consultant
Dale E. Moser, Supervisory Auditor, GAO
Martha M. Dott, Clerk
Mary E. Milek, Secretary




Witness: Don Luce

{July 15 1971 p.m. hearing, pages 95-122}



U.S. Assistance Programs in Vietnam


Thursday, July 15, 1971

House of Representatives,
Foreign Operations and Government Information Subcommittee of the Committee of Government Operations,

Washington, D.C.

The subcommittee met, at 10 a.m., in room 2247, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. William S. Moorhead (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Present: Representatives William S. Moorhead, John E. Moss, Ogden R. Reid, John N. Erlenborn, and Paul N. McCloskey, Jr.

Staff members present: William G. Phillips, staff director; Norman G. Cornish, deputy staff director; Harold F. Whittington, staff consultant; Dale E. Moser, supervisory auditor, GAO; and William H. Copenhaver, minority professional staff, Committee on Government Operations.

Mr. Moorhead.  The Subcommittee on Foreign Operations and Government Information will please come to order.

This morning we turn to another aspect of our investigation of U.S. assistance programs in Southeast Asia — their economy and efficiency and the ways in which they are coordinated.

Our first witness today will be Assistant Administrator Robert H. Nooter of the Agency for International Development who testified on exchange rates and the Vietnamese economic situation last week.

We welcome you back again, Mr. Nooter. I understand that you are accompanied by Mr. William C. Schmeisser, Jr., Associate Assistant Administrator for Commodity and Contract Management, and Mr. Charles P. Fossum, Associate Administrator for National Development, AID.

Later in the day we will hear from Mr. Don Luce of the World Council of Churches, who spent more than 12 years in South Vietnam and who returned to the United States only recently at the insistence of the Thieu government.

The balance of the morning session is on a separate webpage (pages 1-95).  CJHjr


{p.95} (Whereupon, at 1:40 p.m., the subcommittee recessed, to reconvene at 2:30 p.m., the same day.)


Mr. Moss (presiding).  The committee will be in order.

Our next witness will be Mr. Don Luce.

(Witness sworn by Mr. Moss.)

Mr. Moss. Would you identify yourself for the record, your name and address and occupation?

Statement of
Don Luce,
World Council of Churches

Mr. Luce. My name is Don Luce, and I am from East Calais, Vt. I went to Vietnam in 1958 with the International Voluntary Services as an agriculturist working on sweet potatoes. I became the director for IVS in 1961, resigned in 1967 and was in the United States for a year and went back in October 1968. I was there for about 6 months as a freelance journalist, and then from mid-1969 until mid-May of this year, I was with the World Council of Churches doing a study on postwar reconstruction concerning what can be done when the war is over.

Mr. Moss. You may proceed.

Mr. Luce. I think rather than read in my testimony, if it could just be entered into the record.

Mr. Moss. Without objection, the statement as filed will be entered in the record at this point and you may summarize.

(Mr. Luce’s prepared statement follows:)


Prepared Statement of Don Luce,
World Council of Churches

My name is Don Luce. I have spent about twelve years in Viet Nam — first with International Voluntary Services — as a volunteer in agriculture from 1958 to 1960 and director of the IVS program in Viet Nam from 1961 to 1967; then as a journalist from October 1968 to April 1969; and as a research associate and journalist for the World Council of Churches from June 1969 to May 1971, when I was ordered to leave for “special reasons” by the Saigon government.

I am very strongly in favor of economic assistance to Viet Nam and other developing countries. However, I do question how it has been given by the United States and who has benefited. I would like to raise several specific concerns of mine before this committee and make recommendations:

1.  Our aid has widened the gap between the rich and the poor. — You can make an income map for the city of Saigon by tracing the water pipes that we provided {p.96} to put a water systems into the city of Saigon. You can make another income map by tracing in blue ink the electric lines. ¶

The public works facilities go to the rich who sell the water and electricity at exorbitant prices to the poor. In the words of a slum dweller: ¶

“The water pipes and electric lines all go to the cement houses. I live, in thatch house and must buy my water and electricity from the rich people.”

Another example of widening the gap between rich and poor is that our aid is often siphoned off by corrupt officials. A district chief that had bought his job explained that in order to get his money back, he did three things. He sold the bulgar wheat and cooking oil that had been given for free distribution to the refugees: he taxed the local bars and brothels and put the money in his pocket: and he sold the identification cards that the refugees needed in order to get jobs on the air base.

2.  We have created our own need. — Some of the most impressive results of our aid have been in the area of agriculture and health. The new. varieties of rice have received wide acceptance among Vietnamese farmers. And I know from my own work with the rural people that they are very receptive to improvements. The U.S. has brought large amounts of medical supplies to Viet Nam. U.S. hospitals have treated many Vietnamese — curing sickness, treating wounds, etc. Yet we have created the need for our presence. U.S. bombs, defoliants, search-and-destroy missions and forced evacuation have increased medical problems and made most of the rural land unproductive. Once one of the most important exporters of rice in the world, Viet Nam now imports American rice.

3.  We have used our aid to keep an unpopular and corrupt government in power. — American aid to public safety — the police force — has increased steadily. According to the 1970 Report to the Ambassador, the economic aid given to public safety will be 30 million U.S. dollars in 1971; in 1970 aid to public safety was 20.9 million. And while police aid has increased by nearly 50 per cent, aid to education has decreased from 6.1 million dollars in 1970 to a budgeted 4.5 million in 1971.

This aid has made it possible for the Saigon regime to be increasingly brutal against all political opposition. The police force has increased from 16,000 men in 1963 to over 100,000 police today. John Mossier, director of USAID, in his 1970 report to Ambassador Bunker said: “During 1970 the police continued to improve their capability in traditional police functions. Their timely and positive action effectively contained civil disturbances involving war veterans, students and religious groups, thereby preventing the spread of violence.”

The United States has been involved in the building of prisons for political prisoners. There are 100,000 political prisoners in Viet Nam. Many of these are held in prisons built by the United States. After Congressman William Anderson and Congressman Augustus Hawkins visited Con Son prison with me, the Saigon government stopped using the Tiger Cages — but then ordered the prisoners to build new ones as a “self-help project.” The prisoners refused and the United Stares awarded a $400,000 contract to Raymond, Morrison, Knutson/Brown, Root and Jones to build new “isolation cells” to replace the Tiger Cages. The reason for bringing in the American construction firm. Robert McCloskey stated at a State Department press briefing on February 22, was “because of delays in construction and continuing difficulties with the most recalcitrant prisoners.”

The U.S. Government has been running surveys that are helpful to the Thieu regime. Here is an example which includes questions to evaluate the strength of different opposition candidates, where people stand on different issues, etc.

4.  We have ignored the real needs of the Vietnamese if they might create anti-war sentiment. — For example, there has been a serious increase in the rate of venereal disease among Vietnamese. At the National Anti-Venereal Disease Center in Saigon the VD rate among prostitutes brought in by the police is about 50 per cent. Yet despite the fact that the VD is spread primarily by U.S. soldiers, the U.S. Government has ignored the problem. Outside the one Saigon government center in Saigon, no care is given. To admit that the problem existed would be embarrassing to the U.S. Another example is that the number of Amer-Asian children is increasing drastically. My estimate is that there are at least 400,000 Amer-Asian children in Viet Nam. Yet the United States has done nothing to help the mothers of these children. It has done nothing to provide for the future education of the children. We are not even assuring that the children will get enough to eat.

5.  We have used our aid, or at least the effect of our aid, has been to create a dependence on us. — We have filled the markets of South Viet Nam with luxuries that the South Vietnamese cannot afford to buy without tremendous {p.97} amounts of U.S. aid. For example, television. Even in the slums where families do not have enough to eat, they have a television set and very often a Honda. Our provision of these goods in abundance to Viet Nam have caused a dependence on us — and at the same time a resentment. They feel that we have trapped them.

6.  The military has dominated aid programs. — Military objectives, rather than development, have been emphasized. The result has been bitterness and alienation of the people we have pretended to help. Roads, airports, military naval bases, etc., have dominated our budgets. But more important, the civilian side has seemingly had no control over the military in decisions that affect the civilian population. One-third of the people have been made refugees. The AID officials, who knew this was destroying the social fabric of the country and that it would create tremendous problems of urban unrest later, were powerless to stop it. The result of combining military and civilian efforts has been to both keep aid away from real civilian needs and to cau>e a psychological distrust. The Vietnamese feel that everything is being done for U.S. military/ political objectives. There has been little cooperation.

7.  We have had a scries of one-year programs. — This is a result of short-term technicians, rapid turnover of USAID directors, and a failure to develop real joint planning with Vietnamese counterparts (who, at the higher levels are also undergoing rapid turnover). Each technician has his own pet project. He arrives in Viet Nam, studies the situation, decides what he wants to do. makes a PIO/C, and waits for the commodities to arrive. By the time things get there, his tour is over. The warehouses are full of American technicians’ dreams that arrived too late. The U.S. has alternated between supporting the central government and “getting down to the people.” There has just been no clear policy. In terms of policy, I believe the major failures have been in having tours of duty too short, failures of most technicians (and all ambassadors, USAID directors. JUSPAO directors, etc.) to learn Vietnamese, and a failure to have any real expertise on Vietnamese affairs in our AID program in Viet Nam.

8.  Vietnamization is neither a political nor economic solution for the Vietnamese. — Let me cite two examples. Mr. Vinh is a farmer from Quant Tin. In 1966 his wife took two of his children to Tam Ky when one of the children was hit by napalm. Two years later, when the war intensified in his area, he followed. In Tam Ky, he made bamboo mugs for the American soldiers at Chu Lai. Now, however, the soldiers are leaving and security is no better on his farm. He cannot go back and fewer Americans are buying bamboo mugs for souvenirs. Another example is a woman who sells duck noodle soup in Khanh Hoi slum area of Saigon. Her husband is a dock worker, but now he works only three or four days a week because fewer boats are coming in. The same is true of many others in Khanh Hoi so she sells less duck soup. She and her husband are from a farm in the Mekong delta, but cannot return because security is not good there.

These are typical cases. As soldiers leave, there are fewer jobs. At the same time, security is no better in the countryside. The result is growing unrest in the slum areas and among the poor. Security is not getting better and the poor are suffering because of a misjudgment of the politicians. I do not believe the economic problems of Viet Nam can be solved until there is a political settlement that will allow people to return to their farms.

9.  Recommendations.—

(a)  American aid for building prisons for political prisoners should be ended immediately.

(b)  American aid for the encouragement of “containing” war veterans, students, and religious leaders should be ended.

(c)  No aid should be used to politically support Thieu or any other candidate.

(d)  Economic aid should not be used for military objectives. Military officers should not be in charge of the distribution of economic aid.

(e)  More consideration should be given to the effects of our presence on postwar Viet Nam. Some examples of things that should be considered now:

(i)  The U.S. military should remove its booby traps as it withdraws. Otherwise, thousands of farmers will be killed when they return to plow their fields.

(ii)  More attention should be given to finding solutions to problems we’ve created for the Vietnamese such as the increased VD incidence, Amer-Asian children, wastelands created by the defoliation, etc.

(f)  The U.S. should consider better terms of trade as a way of helping developing nations rather than direct hand-outs.

(g)  Aid should be given through international organizations. Wherever possible, it should be used to develop local institutions and organizations. {p.98}


Mr. Luce. I have tried to outline some of my specific concerns about American aid, which is going to Vietnam, and the first point which I make is that the effect of our aid has widened the gap between the rich and the poor.

This morning there was some discussion about the electricity and water systems which have been put into the city of Saigon, and I would point out that the poor people do have to get the water, and they are buying it from rich people. They go to the major streets where the rich people live, buy it from the rich and then have to carry it back to their homes. ¶

The same is true with electricity. If you go into many of the rich people’s homes they will have one regular meter from the government and then several smaller meters underneath this one which go out to people that live in the poor sections of Saigon.

These people are paying five to ten times as much for their electricity as the rich guy who bought it in the first place. A lot of the aid which has gone to Vietnam has gone into corruption. For example, relief goods have not got to the refugees. The people who work for the American services often have to buy their identification cards and so on.

The second point which I want to make is that we have created our own need in Vietnam. In the field of agriculture and health and so on, we have done some very impressive things, such as the IR-8 and IR-5 varieties of rice and yet at the same time as we bring better varieties into Vietnam, we are defoliating the rural parts of the country. Now we have stopped this, but still the results of the defoliation are that the land is barren and the farmers have been forced off the land and can’t farm.

Bomb craters fill the agriculture land. The same is true with medical help. We often say, look at all of the good we are doing, yet in many ways we have created this need. We put the arms and legs back on people, yet we have to recognize that we were the ones that knocked the arms and legs off in the first place, in a majority of the cases.

Thirdly, we have kept an unpopular and corrupt government in power. In the report to the Ambassador, the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development reported to Ambassador Bunker in 1970 our aid to public safety was $20.9 million. In 1971, our aid to public safety was $30 million. It was brought out, in the testimony this morning, that aid to many of the other areas, such as health and education have been decreasing. Education decreased from $6.1 million down to $4.5 million between fiscal year 1970 and fiscal year 1971.

I think this morning one of the confusions about the police system is that there are so many different police systems, so many different prison systems. For example, there are the national correction centers, provincial correctional centers, detention centers, interrogation centers, police station jails, and military prisons. People are imprisoned into all of these different categories of prisons. So when you try to count the number of political prisoners, or when you consider what has happened to the prisoners, it becomes very confusing as to which system these people fall under, who is responsible. But the United States has been building the prisons. We furnish the tear gas which is used to repress the students, and I found in Vietnam that it was very hard to get the information about what was happening from the U.S. officials. {p.99}

For example, a year ago, 11 Vietnamese university students were released who had slivers under their fingernails, who had round holes in sensitive parts of their body which they said were from cigarette burns and were covered with black and blue spots.

A group of us from different voluntary agencies, such as myself from the World Council of Churches, representatives from the Unitarian Service Committee, the American Friends Service Committee, and International Voluntary Services, requested to see Ambassador Bunker about the fact that Vietnamese students were being tortured, that the U.S.-donated equipment had been involved in their arrest, and that we were supporting the whole prison system and police system. Ambassador Bunker’s office said Ambassador Bunker could not see us, we should see Deputy Ambassador Burger. He said he could not see us, we should see the Youth Affairs Office. They said they could not see us, we should see the Public Safety Director. He said we should see the prisons adviser. The prisons adviser said that this was the kind of a decision that this was too high for him to comment on, there was nothing he could do about it. It is very frustrating.

There are at least a hundred thousand political prisoners in Vietnam. Some of these are in prisons that the United States has constructed.

I mentioned in my report that we did provide a $400,000 contract to the construction firm of Raymond, Morrison, Knutson-Brown, Root & Jones. This was paid by U.S. funds.

I have a copy of the contract, or a letter of agreement of this here which lists where these funds have come from, which I can make available to the committee.

Another thing which I would like to get into is the laws of Vietnam and that is, if I can quote four or five laws, which I think are important as we consider this.

First, article 19 of Decree Law 004/66.

Mr. Reid.  Is that the an tri law you are speaking of?

Mr. Luce. Yes. It states, article 19:

Those persons considered dangerous to the national defense and public security may he interned in a prison or designated area or banished from designated areas for a maximum period of two years, which is renewable. The internment and banishment shall be ordered by Arrete of the Prime Minister issued upon recommendation of the Minister of Interior.

Another law which has been used a great deal, particularly against the political prisoners, which is article 2 of Decree No. 93/SL/CT of February 1, 1964, and this reads in its entirety:

Shall be considered as pro-communist neutralist, a person who commits acts of propaganda for and incitement of neutralism. These acts are assimilated to acts of jeopardizing public safety.

I have a friend who was arrested about a year ago and the sentence was that he was a neutralist, and neutralism is pro-communism, and communism is against the law.

Here is a letter which was signed up by Colonel Diep, the Director of Cabinet of the Minister of Interior on a specific case to a Buddhist nun. The colonel wrote:

Responding to your letter dated July 15, 1970—

this letter is dated November 25, 1970— {p.100}

asking to set free your brother Truong Van Bai who was captured by the Thua Thien security agency in 1964, we solemnly inform you that prisoner Truong Van Bai was accused of working for the communists and was then sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. During serving his sentence in Con-Son, instead of repenting he showed his proof of opposition. Therefore he should be detained a period of time in addition. However, how long he should be detained depends on his level of repentance.

So there is no specific trial or way of determining how long this individual will be kept in prison. They just keep him for month after month.

Another example of this is the editor of one of the student newspapers who was put in jail in 1968. According to Dien Tin newspaper, Con {—} Nguyen Truong Con is his name {—} was noted absent. Then he was reported absent by the Vietnamese Government officials. The Government then said that he would be released on July 7 of this year. To my knowledge Mr. Con still has not been released and no one knows whether he is physically all right. Several of the prisoners have been killed in prison.

At the end of December 1970 I went to the funeral of a girl who had been tortured to death by the prison authorities.

I point out also in my testimony that the United States has been running surveys which are helpful to the Thieu regime. I just do not feel that American officials should get involved in running surveys or doing anything else to help any of the political candidates in terms of asking about the popularity of different candidates, about what kind of a man they want elected next September, what the most important is sues are. This information is used by the Government in deciding on who they will let run, or who they won’t allow to run.

For example, in 1967 elections, using information like this, the Government decided not to let Au Truong Thanh run for President and not to let General Minh or Big Minh run for President, so this kind of information is extremely valuable to the Government.

The fourth point is that we have ignored the real needs of the Vietnamese, if these might create antiwar sentiment. I want to bring up two specific things that I think are awfully important.

One is that the incidence of venereal disease has been growing very rapidly. There is a maternity hospital in Saigon where they have run some tests on VD, and in two periods, about a year or a year and a half apart. The incidence has increased from between 2 and 3 percent to between 4 and 5 percent.

At the national VD center, where the bar girls and prostitutes are brought, when a bar doesn’t pay its bribes and people get arrested, the incidence is running about 50 percent.

This is a problem which we have created through our military involvement and yet, for political reasons our Government has not provided any medical help in terms of lowering the incidence of VD.

The second similar problem is the problem of Amer-Asian children that is, American-Vietnamese children. My estimate, based upon studies for the World Council of Churches, in terms of the numbers of bar girls, temporary wives, and prostitutes and interviews with them in terms of children which they have, who are Amer-Asian, is that there are at least 400,000 children who are half American and half Vietnamese. {p.101}

The United States has ignored this problem, I believe, for fear that it would cause political repercussions here in the States. When the war is over, this is going to be a terrific problem because the girls now are earning a great deal of money, but at the end of the war they will be without jobs and these children then all will go into the orphanages and the orphanages will have far less money than they have now, mainly because the U.S. military has put a lot of money into the orphanages.

The fifth point is that we have used our aid. or at least the effect of our aid has been to create a dependence upon us. For example, we brought television to Vietnam. I am not quite sure what role television has in terms of our aid programs, but I know that a tiny room, which is maybe 12 feet by 12 feet will have 10 or 15 people living it in, and a television set. People, in a sense, have become addicted to this television.

Actually, the political effect has probably not been as good as the United States had hoped. One American information officer was telling me. the problem is that the Vietnamese are watching the American programs like Bonanza and the cowboy and Indian shows, and instead of sympathizing with the cowboy, they are sympathizing with the Indians. So it doesn’t always have the desired effect.

The same is true with the Hondas and so on.

The next point which I want to make is that the military has dominated our economic aid programs. This was pointed out this morning. The military personnel make up the majority of the CORDS officials. The military decisions are much more important in terms of how the aid money will be spent. It has been spent on the engineering projects and on public safety and this sort of thing, the military and paramilitary programs, rather than really helping the Vietnamese people.

We have had a series of 1-year programs. Each time an AID official arrives, he develops his own new program. He has to order — to make his project implementation order for commodities. By the time the goods arrive in Vietnam he is about ready to leave, so that the warehouses and so on are just filled with these dreams of various American AID officials, and they are never put into use. Everything from microscopes to tractors and very complicated equipment and this sort of thing.

I would like to talk 1 minute also about the refugee situation. First of all, I would point out that most of the refugees in Vietnam are not considered refugees. The Vietnamese Government and the U.S. Government have never considered all of the people that have moved into Saigon as refugees, so that when you look at the statistics, they are only partial statistics, because in many of the refugee camps now, there are no refugees. They have been taken off the books, and yet they are no better off, they are really worse off than they were before.

If you go into the slums of Saigon you will find hundreds of thousands of people. Saigon had a population of 1 million when I arrived in 1958. It has a population of 3 million now. Most of these people are people that have been forced off the rural lands into the slums of that city with all of the health and economic problems.

One of my concerns is that this is part of the result of the military making the decision to refugee a third of the people of the country.

It has torn apart the most important part of Vietnamese society. that is, the family life. The men are with one army or the other. The {p.102} women are washing clothes for the American soldiers, the daughters are working in the bars and brothels, and the children are shining shoes and watching cars, washing cars, and stealing. It is a breakdown of the whole societal structure.

I use two examples here, and I think this is pretty typical of what has happened in terms of the Vietnamese people and Vietnamization. The people were forced off their farms. Because there were a lot of soldiers and jobs available, they earned a fairly good living. Now, as the soldiers leave, there are fewer and fewer jobs, and you are beginning to get more and more labor strikes, more and more unrest in the cities.

In terms of the economic and social aspects, and also in terms of the political aspects, it is tearing the whole country apart.

Much of the unrest in the cities is coming from refugees who once had fairly good jobs. Now they do not have any work and, of course disease and all of the social problems are created.

I wonder if there might be questions before I go into recommendations?

Mr. Moss. Yes, indeed. I think there would be.

Mr. Reid?

Mr. Reid.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

How would you characterize how broad or how narrow a base the present government has?

Mr. Luce. I think in terms of support, the majority of the support for the Saigon Government comes from the U.S. Army, and the military equipment which we provide it. ¶

The Catholics, who at one time were providing a great deal of support, have moved away and become very critical of the Saigon Government. ¶

The archbishop of Saigon who is the leading Catholic prelate, has been very outspoken in term of, first of all, reconciliation and, second, in terms of attacks on corruption within the Saigon Government.

For example, this past September he said that, and I quote:

If we are true to God and believe his words, then how can we be calm like accomplices while the majority does not have enough to eat or wear, while the minority lives comfortably in luxury?

Mr. Reid. How broad is the Buddhist support?

Mr. Luce. Well, Thich Tam Chau’s group, which is a very small group of Buddhists {—} and which the government has set up because it wants to get progovernment Buddhists, for example, to act as chaplains in the Army {—} supports President Thieu. ¶

But the majority of the Buddhists, the An Quang Buddhists, and so on, are very much opposed to the government.

Mr. Reid. What about the Cao Dai.

Mr. Luce. They are opposed.

The Hoa Hao would provide some support. And by “support,” I am there not—

Mr. Reid. Taking in very round figures, what percent would support the makeup of the present cabinet?

I am not talking about corruption, and so forth.

Mr. Luce. 10 or 15 percent.

Mr. Reid. So it is very narrow; isn’t it?

Mr. Luce. Very narrow; yes. {p.103}

Mr. Reid. How serious do you consider the corruption in the cabinet?

Mr. Luce. I don’t have specific figures.

I know that within the police force, which comes under the ministry of interior, it is very, very deep.

Within the national assembly, particularly in the progovernment, national assemblymen, particularly in terms of the smuggling in of heroin, drugs, gold, this kind of thing, within the cabinet itself, I don’t have specific documents on individuals.

Mr. Reid. Are you familiar with the Phoenix program?

Mr. Luce. Yes.

Mr. Reid. Would you care to comment on it?

Mr. Luce. Well, first let me say, in terms of how it is seen, that in one village that I was in in Quong Tri Province, the local schoolteacher said:

Well, this is how Phoenix works in my village. Two men came in in black pajamas and carried AK-47s. They then — they were there for awhile, and then the police force came in, and then the government officials, and so on. And then they arrested all of those people that these two men pointed out as having been kind and providing food, and so on, to these two people who had posed as NLF soldiers.

He said this was Phoenix. I don’t know exactly whether it was or not. I know that a lot of the people who are arrested by Phoenix are put into the detention centers, and they eventually arrive at Con-Son prison and the other prisons. Many of them are tortured. I don’t know how many.

There is certainly a great deal of discussion that a lot of the people that are arrested are put on the black list by people who are jealous. ¶

There is a great deal of corruption involved. If a person will not pay a bribe, then he is apt to get his name put on the Phoenix list. ¶

This is sort of a general thing.

“ It began with a phone call. ¶

In November last year 39-year-old Huda Alazawi, a wealthy Baghdad businesswoman, received a demand from an Iraqi informant. ¶

He was working for the Americans in Adhamiya, a Sunni district of Baghdad well known for its hostility towards the US occupation. ¶

His demand was simple: Madame Huda, as her friends and family know her, had to give him $10,000. ¶

If she failed to pay up, he would write a report claiming that she and her family were working for the Iraqi resistance. He would pass it to the US military and they would arrest her.

“It was clearly blackmail,” Alazawi says, speaking in the Baghdad office of her trading company. “We knew that if we gave in, there would be other demands.” ¶

The informant was as good as his word. ¶

In November 2003, he wrote a report that prompted US soldiers to interrogate Alazawi’s brother, Ali, and her older sister, Nahla, now 45. Wearing a balaclava, he also led several raids with US soldiers on the families’ antique-filled Baghdad properties.

On December 23, the Americans arrested another of Alazawi’s brothers, Ayad, 44. ¶

It was at this point that she decided to confront the Americans directly. She marched into the US base in Adhamiya, one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces. ¶

“A US captain told me to come back with my two other brothers. He said we could talk after that.” ¶

On Christmas Eve she returned with her brothers, Ali and Mu'taz. “I waited for four hours. An American captain finally interrogated me. ¶

After 10 minutes he announced that I was under arrest. ...

“The US officer told us: ‘If you don’t confess we will torture you. So you have to confess.’...” ...

... her brother Mu'taz was brutally sexually assaulted. ...

“At midnight they threw something at my sister’s feet. It was my brother Ayad. He was bleeding from his legs, knees and forehead. ... The next day they took away his body.”

The US military later issued a death certificate, seen by the Guardian, citing the cause of death as “cardiac arrest of unknown etiology”. The American doctor who signed the certificate did not print his name, and his signature is illegible. ...

... a US guard broke her shoulder ...

After eight months in prison they ... made me sign a piece of paper promising not to leave the country. And then I was free.” ...

... what does she think of the Americans now?

I hate them,” she says.”

Luke Harding, After Abu Ghraib: Huda Alazawi was one of the few women held in solitary in the notorious Iraqi prison. Following her release, she talks for the first time to Luke Harding about her ordeal. (The Guardian, September 20 2004).


Mr. Reid. What about those who are not captured and rallied?

Mr. Luce. The ones who are killed?

Mr. Reid. Yes.

Mr. Luce. These are people, maybe they got scared and tried to run away. Maybe the Phoenix people were overanxious.

A lot of the people who work with the Phoenix are people who have apparently had, you know — well, like they have two groups, the Phoenix and the CIDG, which has been closed down now, which have the slogan “kill Communists” tattooed on their arms. These are people who had been in prison before and then get out to act as this kind of agent.

Both in Phoenix and in the prisons, one of the complaints of many, many Vietnamese is that the government uses its criminal prisoners to control the political dissent within the country.

Mr. Reid. As General Minh has stated, it is used to eliminate political rivals.

Mr. Luce. Yes, in the Phoenix and in the National Police.

For example, I think now the former president of the Vietnamese Student Union is about to come up to trial. He was tried a year ago.

The Supreme Court declared the evidence which the government had as not being acceptable in the Court because it was all the results of torture.

Mr. Reid. What about those that never get to trial? {p.104}

Mr. Luce. The ones who are killed?

Mr. Reid. Yes.

Mr. Luce. This, again, is particularly at the lower levels of village leaders, and so on.

I think that infrastructure in terms of the government often means anybody who opposes it will—

Mr. Reid. What do you think of our association with that program?

Mr. Luce. I think it is terrible.

You know, I think that we are involved in mass assassination in Vietnam.

Mr. Reid. Of civilians?

Mr. Luce. Of civilians.

Mr. Reid. Or insurgents?

Mr. Luce. Of both.

Mr. Reid. Have we ever done this as a country before, do you know?

Mr. Luce. I don’t know.

I would point out in this whole question of the violation of international laws, and this sort of thing, that this, the encouragement for this sort of thing, comes from the highest levels of our own government.

For example, in May of last year the Vice President of the United States, in a “Face the Nation” television program, listed as one of the reasons for the Cambodian operation the destruction of the NLF and North Vietnamese hospital complexes, which is a direct violation of article 19 of the Geneva conventions for the amelioration of the condition of the wounded and sick in armed forces in the field — May 3, 1970, Vice President Agnew said — in quotes:

The purpose of the strikes into the sanctuaries is not to go into Cambodia, but to reduce the depots, hospital complexes ¶

and so on.

Then he added later:

They cannot move these facilities— ¶

such as hospitals — so that we begin at the very top levels in condoning the violation of the various conventions of war. And we continue at the local levels with the Phoenix, with the U.S.-supported police.

I mentioned earlier that I had visited a — I attended a funeral in which a girl who had been tortured to death this past December. Here is an article from the Stars and Stripes, which is the U.S. Army paper. In it is an AP article, which has the photographs of two women. And I visited these two women.

They appeared to have — well, they looked like boiling oil had been poured on their faces.

Mr. Reid. If there is no objection. Mr. Chairman. I would ask that article be included.

Mr. Moss. Without objection, the article will be included in the record at this point.

(The article follows:)


[From Pacific Stars and Stripes, Dec. 3, 1970]

Viet Cops Beat, Burned Us, Women Prisoners Tell Press

Saigon (AP) — Two women inmates of a South Vietnamese prison told this week of an incident in which riot police allegedly beat, tear-gassed and threw acid on more than 100 women prisoners.

Both women are now hospitalized in Saigon.

They said they were among 416 female political prisoners at the Tan Hiep Prison near Bien Hoa, 15 miles north of Saigon. {p.105}


Some of the women had been transferred recently from the Con Son Island prison and others from a prison at Thu Duc.

When the women protested living conditions at the prison and the fact that some of them were still confined even though they had served their sentences, prison officials allegedly threatened to ship some of them to another prison at Hue in northern South Vietnam.

The women refused to be transferred and staged a demonstration, and riot police were called.

“The police beat us, threw tear gas grenades at us and threw some chemical-lye or acid — on us,” said one of the women now hospitalized in Saigon.

She had severe burns on the face and neck and had heavy bandages on her arms and legs. She said she had been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being arrested in Saigon in December 1968.

Another woman, also badly burned, said she had been sentenced to three years in jail and had already served more than that, but that prison authorities refused to release her.

A policeman assigned to guard the women at the hospital said both were Viet Cong.

The warden of the prison at Tan Hiep refused to talk to newsmen, telling them that they must first get clearance from the interior ministry.

However, a guard at the jail confirmed that the incident had taken place a week ago, and said that at the height of the disturbance “a woman hit a guard over the head with a bottle.”

Members of an Australian medical team at the nearby province hospital confirmed that they had received casualties from the prison incident.

“We got in some very badly burned women,” said one nurse. “The police said they should be confined in the prison ward. We said they were too sick, and the police took them to Saigon.”


Mr. Reid. Would you care to estimate the number of political prisoners in Vietnam? And, by that, I would like you to give me the relatively low figure, not those that are necessarily Communists, but those that are neutralists and are genuinely political prisoners.

And how many of them would you guess are at Con Son?

Mr. Luce. If I can answer that first, the total number of prisoners at Con Son is approximately 10,000.

The Government figures state that about 70 percent of these people at Con Son are political prisoners, or as they call them Communist criminals.

When I was at Con Son with Congressmen Anderson and Hawkins, we talked with many of these people. I did not see any indication that they were Communists, and no evidence was provided.

The two people that I remember specifically who were criminal prisoners were murderers.

Mr. Reid. How many political prisoners are there, do you think?

Mr. Luce. In total, at least 100,000.

Mr. Reid. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Moss. Mr. McCloskey.

Mr. McCloskey.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I note from the document, Mr. Luce, that was furnished us about this year’s Phoenix program, it says:

All A and B category VCI who have been sentenced should be transferred from provincial rehabilitation center to Con Son, Tan Hiep, or Thu Duc National Rehabitation Centers without waiting for the approval of the Ministry of Interior.

Where is Tan Hiep?

Mr. Luce. Tan Hiep is in Bien Hoa, and it is about 20 miles out of Saigon.

Mr. McCloskey. Where is Thu Duc?

Mr. Luce. Thu Duc is also about 15 miles out of Saigon, and it is a women’s prison. {p.106}

In Tan-Hiep they have both men and women prisoners.

These two women here were at Tan-Hiep at the time that acid was thrown in their faces.

Mr. Moss. Will you break for 15 minutes?

The subcommittee will recess for 15 minutes.


Mr. Moss. The committee will resume.

Mr. McCloskey?

Mr. McCloskey. Mr. Luce, in your long experience in Vietnam, would you state to the subcommittee the common belief, the common reputation of Vietnamese interrogation procedures with the American community, both military and political, in South Vietnam, as to the manner of torture of prisoners during the interrogation process?

Mr. Luce. The general opinion of Vietnamese, and I have talked with people who have been in interrogation centers and later released, and talked with just in general hundreds of people about this general question, is that almost every Vietnamese who is picked up is immediately tortured, and then goes to an interrogation center, of a police station, and is tortured again.

Then the question of American involvement in this, the people say that in many cases, Americans are here, so that Vietnamese generally feel that Americans are often watching the torture and sometimes involved in the torture.

Mr. McCloskey. Now, what is the reputation in the American community? ¶

How about the Americans that you have talked with over there? ¶

What is their common understanding, belief or impression as to whether South Vietnamese use torture in the interrogation process, if you know?

Mr. Luce. I think that almost all Americans there would know of specific cases where the torture has been used. ¶

You know, it is just an accepted fact there.

Mr. McCloskey. Is it a matter of common discussion?

Mr. Luce. Yes.

Mr. McCloskey. Now, are you aware of the Phoenix program operations?

Mr. Luce. Yes.

Mr. McCloskey. What, in your opinion, can be said, or what is your attitude about a program under which a prisoner, perhaps captured or certainly assisted in the capture by American troops, is turned over in a province interrogation center for 46 days for interrogation solely by South Vietnamese with no Americans present?

Mr. Luce. Well, my first reaction is the United States probably built this interrogation center, that we were involved in the arrest of this person, either directly or indirectly, and we cannot escape the responsibility for what happens to that individual. ¶

We are a part of that torture as much as if we were there and maybe even more so because we are doing nothing to stop it and doing a large number of things to encourage it.

Mr. McCloskey. Have you compiled any documentary evidence of torture, such as statements of individuals allegedly claimed to have been tortured?

Mr. Luce. I have at home, tapes of people that have been interviewed, people who have been arrested by Americans, and beaten by the Americans, and then go through the whole prison system, ending {p.107} up at Con Son or other places. ¶

I have interviewed American interrogators who have used what they call the good-guy bad-guy approach, that is, when the prisoner arrives at the interrogation center they give him coffee and cigarettes and water, anything that he wants, and then if he does not give information, they turn him back to the Vietnamese.

According to this interrogator, he said just about every Vietnamese prisoner that he had received had been tortured by Vietnamese interrogators, and that the most effective way of getting information was to threaten to send them back, and in some cases sending them back to the Vietnamese. ¶

As a matter of fact, I found one interrogation center through a former prisoner who had met two North Vietnamese medical technicians who, he said, their fingers were twisted up, you know, had been broken. ¶

They had been beaten on a table with boards, they said, by an American.

Mr. McCloskey. I have no further questions.

Mr. Moss.  Mr. Luce, on the first page of your statement, you state that you were ordered to leave Vietnam in May of this year for special reasons.

Were you told what the special reasons were?

Mr. Luce. Yes, from the best I can find out, and that is talking with Vietnamese, both in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the Ministry of Interior, it was two things: ¶

One was the Con Son Island prison trip that I had taken two American Congressmen to Con Son with maps showing where the tiger cages were. According to these people, this caused the South Vietnamese Government embarrassment, and so they took my press card away, and then this led to my expulsion because of this and because I continued to speak out against the — because I continued to write, and the specific thing which they mentioned is because I had visited the Phu Tho interrogation center with the aide to a Congressman.

Mr. Moss. Did you contact the American Embassy for assistance in remaining in Vietnam?

Mr. Luce. I contacted the American Embassy two different times. I discussed this with them. They said that they were doing everything with it that they could to keep me in Vietnam.

At the same time that they were saying this, I had, for example, APO privileges, this is American mailing privileges, I had a valid card until the middle of April of this year. This was taken away in January, and effective the date that they took it away, they started sending my mail back. ¶

I take this as an indication that while they said they were doing everything they could to help, that they really weren’t that excited about helping me. I don’t bring this up as a specific complaint about the mailing privileges, but as an attitude on their part.

Mr. Moss. I think the committee should undertake now to establish precisely the steps taken by our Government in your case and the committee staff will do that, and we will hold the record to receive the results of that inquiry.

(The information follows:)


July 19, 1971,

Hon. William P. Rogers,
Secretary of State, Department of State,
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Secretary: During the course of our hearings last Thursday into the operations of U.S. assistance programs in Southeast Asia, a colloquy between {p.108} Representative Moss and a witness, Mr. Don Luce of the World Council of Churches, took place regarding Mr. Luce’s ejection from South Vietnam by the Thieu government.

Under questioning from Mr. Moss, Mr. Luce stated that he had requested assistance from the American Embassy in Saigon in order that he be permitted to remain in South Vietnam. ¶

It was further implied that our diplomatic officials in Saigon did not vigorously pursue the request in Mr. Luce’s behalf with the Thieu government, so that he was forced to leave in May 1971.

At Mr. Moss’ request, the record of the hearing is being held at this point, and I have been requested to obtain from the State Department via the American Embassy in Saigon, a response as to the precise steps taken by our Government in the Luce case.

I would appreciate your expediting a prompt response in this matter so that the hearing record may be completed.

With best regards,


William S. Moorhead, Chairman.


Department of State,
Washington, D.C., August 4, 1971.

Hon. William S. Moorhead,

Chairman, Foreign Operations and Government Information Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives.

Dear Mr. Chairman: The Secretary has asked me to reply to your letter of July 19 concerning the efforts of the American Embassy in Saigon on behalf of Mr. Don Luce in connection with his unsuccessful attempt to renew his Vietnamese press credentials and residence visa.

In October 1970, the Vietnamese Government refused to renew Mr. Luce’s press accreditation, which he had possessed for several months as a World Council of Churches correspondent. ¶

The reason cited was that Mr. Luce had made an unauthorized visit to the Con Son Island prison. ¶

Mr. Luce requested U.S. Embassy assistance to obtain renewal of his press accreditation. ¶

The Embassy accordingly on several occasions raised this matter with senior Vietnamese Government officials, stressing the unfavorable impression which would be created by what on the surface would appear to be a vindictive act of retaliation against Mr. Luce’s “tiger case expose.” ¶

In the course of these representations the Embassy informed the Vietnamese Government that it did not consider the reasons cited for denial of renewal of accreditation to constitute sufficient cause for such refusal. ¶

The Vietnamese Government reviewed the case as a result of these approaches, but did not alter its original decision not to renew Mr. Luce’s accreditation.

In February 1971, Mr. Luce’s residence visa expired. Mr. Luce requested the Embassy to intervene on behalf of his application to renew this visa. ¶

The Embassy again brought to the attention of the Vietnamese Government the criticism to which it would be exposed if it refused to renew Mr. Luce’s visa. ¶

The Ministry of Interior authorized Mr. Luce to remain in Vietnam for an additional 3 months beyond the expiration of his visa, but in May 1971, declined to renew that permission to reside in Vietnam. ¶

A Vietnamese Government press spokesman told reporters at that time that Mr. Luce’s residence visa was not renewed because his activities were not in keeping with the position of journalist or social worker. ¶

We are aware that the Vietnamese Government was greatly irritated by Mr. Luce’s involvement in groups which engaged in antigovernment demonstrations and his reported liaison role between dissidents in Vietnam and organizations in the United States deemed hostile to Vietnam. ¶

All persons receiving visas to Vietnam are required to pledge that they will not become involved in internal political affairs.

After the Vietnamese Government made its final decision not to renew Mr. Luce’s visa, Mr. Luce did not seek any further intervention by the Embassy and left the country.

I hope the foregoing information is responsive to your needs. If you have any further, questions, please feel free to call upon me.


David M. Abshire.

Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations. {p.109}


Mr. Moss. In describing the gap between rich and poor, you use two examples of U.S. assistance, one in the construction of a water system in the city of Saigon. When was the water system constructed, or do you know?

Mr. Luce. The construction on this was finished in about 1967. There has been no attempt in either the case of the water system or the electric lines to my knowledge of getting these extended into the Khanh Hoi slums or into other slums of the city.

Mr. Moss. Did you make any kind of inquiry as to the policy of our mission in Saigon regarding our water system project?

Mr. Luce. Yes, in 1967 I talked with American AID officials about this, and many similar problems, and also with the Ambassador about the creation of so many refugees, I mean, a whole series of examples like this in the water system, yes, I did.

Mr. Moss. Well, now, is this a supplementary water system? As I recall in some of the very poor areas of Saigon, I would notice water hydrants, single spigot.

Mr. Luce. Right. Yes. The system in the main parts of Saigon, goes to each house. In the poor parts of the town, in some cases the water goes into sort of fire hydrant type places, and in other places the people have to go to a rich man to get their water.

Mr. Moss. Is the water system operated by the city of Saigon, by the Government of Vietnam, or by some special authority, or is it privately operated?

Mr. Luce. I can’t answer that. I don’t know.

Mr. Moss. With regard to the electric lines, the second item, is service to areas other than the more permanent residential areas refused by the electric company?

Mr. Luce. Yes. I know of specific cases of people who have asked to get electric lines into their area and they couldn’t.

Mr. Moss. Is it a flat refusal or a conditioned refusal?

Mr. Luce. It is not even an answer to their letters and requests.

Mr. Moss. And then with private individuals having electric services on their own premise, how are the lines for serving constructed?

Mr. Luce. They do this in two ways. One is that they just connect to sort of make a plug in into the person’s house. Or they connect to a meter made by the rich man.

Mr. Moss. What distance are you covering here?

Mr. Luce. They will go maybe 200 or 300 meters. If I can describe Saigon just very simply. There is a whole series of the major streets where the big cement houses are, and then behind these houses the poor people live in little shacks, and so they go back maybe with lines 200 or 300 feet, and the charge is either with another meter or else so much per electric light bulb and so much per television set and so on.

Mr. Moss. Do you know the cost of electricity in Saigon?

Mr. Luce. I don’t know right now.

Mr. Moss. Are there charges for meters and lines?

Mr. Luce. That is right. It is a per kilowatt hour. I think, 6 or 7, and then the poor were paying at that time about 50.

Mr. Moss. Of course, the item of corruption that you use here is a very standard one, isn’t it? He sold bulgur wheat and cooking oil that had been given for free distribution to the refugees. This is standard.

Mr. Luce. This is typical, yes. {p.110}

Mr. Moss. If we had an AID official present, I think he would concur that that is fairly standard.

Mr. Luce. I have also with me here a letter and reports which are written. The letter is from Mr. James E. Townsend, who is the chief of the U.S. customs, and then from the adviser, Joseph R. Kvoriak.

Mr. Moss. Will you provide a copy of that to the committee for the record?

Mr. Luce. Yes, I will.

Mr. Moss. Without objection, the record will be held open at this point to receive it.

(The material referred to is in the subcommittee files.)

Mr. Moss. Now, in the field of “public safety,” and I use that term in quotes, you cite the increase in the budget, and the decrease in the dollar support level for education. What has happened in the utilization of local resources or piaster funds for the support of education during this period?

Mr. Luce. Well, for example—

Mr. Moss. Or are you informed as to what has happened in that area?

Mr. Luce. I don’t know what has happened on the American aid side, except for what are in the documents. ¶

I know at the village level what has happened is that class sizes have gotten larger, that the education facilities are poorer now than they were, say, a couple of years ago, or 5 years ago, and that the quality of all of these things have gone down instead of up.

I think there has been a tendency to try to get more people enrolled in less hours, to have two or three sessions a day, so that they can get as large a number as possible enrolled, and yet the quality of education is much poorer than it was.

Mr. Moss. May I ask if you know whether or not the percentage of students, or young people of school age, being provided with education today, is greater or less than it was in 1967 or—

Mr. Luce. I don’t know.

Mr. Moss. In order for us to make a judgment as to whether large classes are indicative of a decline in funding, or whether it is indicative of a greater participation, we would have to have those figures, wouldn’t we?

Mr. Luce. Right. Well, I know in villages, for example, where the class size has gone up. The refugee camps’ class size has gone up. Often, in the refugee camps, if they have school, school is held in an outdoor-type building, and again this is an example of much poorer service for the refugees than the people in the cities get in terms of the physical facilities and in terms of the quality of teachers and so on.

Mr. Moss. I think we should secure for the record at this point, the dollar and the total, and the piaster total, committed to education for each of the years, say, from 1967 through 1971. And also the percentage of school age youth attending or being exposed to education.

Mr. Luce. I would suggest the same figures for public health.

Mr. Moss. Well, on public health, I think we have quite detailed figures in the committee files, and the committee has traveled over there. We usually have taken at least one medical person with us for on-the-spot evaluation of medical programs. ¶

They are quite inadequate. There is no question about that. I think the same is true about {p.111} education, but we have no comparable figures on education. I think we should have those also.

I would assume from your statement that in quoting John Mossier, the AID Director, as you do on page 3 in the second paragraph:

During 1970 the police continued to improve their capability in traditional police functions. Their timely and positive action effectively contained civil disturbances involving war veterans, students, and religious groups, thereby preventing the spread of violence.

Do you feel that in fact police in this instance have been engaged in suppression beyond merely containing civil disturbances?

Mr. Luce. Yes. I think that they have used the police for political control, you know, for political reasons. ¶

They have used the police against the religious leaders who were advocating peace and against the war veterans who were asking for better housing and better service to the war veterans.

Mr. Moss. You seem to have gained some supporting, or at least some support, from Vice President Ky in his — I think a letter that he released yesterday, wherein he criticizes the then government, and characterizes it as being a dictatorship and suppressing the individual liberties and whatnot.

Mr. Luce. I think he said this about 2 or 3 weeks ago, which resulted in 14 Saigon newspapers being confiscated.

Mr. Moss. On page 4 you say the U.S. Government has been running surveys that are helpful to the Thieu regime. ¶

Surveys of what type?

Mr. Luce. These are surveys which are run by the U.S. provincial advisers through Vietnamese.

Mr. Moss. Public opinion surveys.

Mr. Luce. Beginning with very simple questions like hamlet locations, you know, where they are, and then questions about the rural development cadre.

Mr. Moss. When you say helpful to them, you mean—

Mr. Luce. Helpful in terms of reelections.

Mr. Moss. That it makes the regime look good, in other words?

Mr. Luce. No. I mean information which can be used in the 1971 presidential elections by President Thieu.

Mr. Moss. You are saying, then, we are supporting the regime and one of the methods of supporting it is to develop information for exploitation in the elections of October of this year?

Mr. Luce. Right. Specifically in 1967 the Government did not allow the two strongest candidates to run. ¶

There is a question in this asking about the various candidates to give an estimate to the Thieu Government how strong these different candidates are. ¶

So that they can make a decision not to allow somebody to run, for example.

Mr. Moss. Now, in the matter of the venereal disease, you refer to the fact that despite the fact that VD is spread primarily by U.S. soldiers, the U.S. Government has ignored the problem. Outside the one Government center in Saigon, no care is given.

By that, I assume that you mean no care is given to the Vietnamese?

Mr. Luce. That is right.

Mr. Moss. There is care given to the U.S. military personnel.

Mr. Luce. That is right. ¶

Now, one of the dangers in doing this — well, first of all, the danger is to the Vietnamese society, and secondly, the danger is to our own soldiers, and that is, if you do not provide {p.112} care — in terms of what I have been told, if you don’t provide the care, I know the Vietnamese girls go to, not doctors, but just sort of Chinese medicine men, and sometimes get very weak penicillin injections, and if they do this over a prolonged period, which they are doing—

Mr. Moss. You are talking about developing resistant strains?

Mr. Luce. That is right.

Mr. Moss. I think the committee is quite familiar with that danger. I wanted merely to clarify your statement so that any ambiguity in it might be removed.

Mr. Luce. Yes.

Mr. Moss. On the television example: These are individual sets purchased by individual Vietnamese?

Mr. Luce. Right.

Mr. Moss. They are normally of Japanese manufacture, are they not?

Mr. Luce. Right.

Mr. Moss. Black and white.

Mr. Luce. In the beginning you, the U.S. Government—

Mr. Moss. The United States decided to undertake a program of viewing its selected spots in the city of Saigon and then in other areas where there were concentrations of people for propaganda purposes, and at that time we had flying television transmitting equipment, and then we built some mobile units, more permanent types, but this is the importation under the free dollar program.

Mr. Luce. But the point that I am making here is that by bringing television in with the airplanes going around it, even though it was for propaganda purposes and so on, we have created a need among the Vietnamese that the country cannot afford, and the only way they can get the television sets is if we provide tremendous amounts of aid, and even though it may not be the television sets, it will come in in other sources. It will take a lot of economic aid to maintain a level of income.

Mr. Moss. I think that is quite true. You have been here during the course of these hearings and there has been a considerable amount of attention directed toward lack of meaningful study, certainly studies projecting long-range needs, or studies aimed at developing programs for the improvement of a lot of the average Vietnamese.

There is an unbelievable lack of attention given to this kind of planning. It just has not been carried on. ¶

We are creating many, many problems over there that are going to come back to haunt us over the next several decades.

The refugees, we went over that very carefully this morning. I do not know whether you were here.

Mr. Luce. Again, I think the problem is one of definition.

Mr. Moss. Let us say that we cannot define a refugee out of existence. Can we?

Mr. Luce. He is still a refugee.

Mr. Moss. He is still a refugee. ¶

And yet by the use of the definitions of the Government of Vietnam, the ready acceptance by our Agency of International Development, our U.S. mission in Vietnam, we have in fact defined them out of existence. ¶

But there they are, and they continue to be one of the major problems which must be faced up to if any real progress is going to be made in developing a viable economy and a stable political base in Vietnam. {p.113}

Mr. Luce. Right.

Mr. Moss. Now, you would not, I assume — page 6, in terms of policy, I believe the major failures have been in having tours of duty too short. You would not be including the present ambassador in that category?

Mr. Luce. No.

Mr. Moss. However, you would in the case of the failure to learn the Vietnamese language?

Mr. Luce. Yes. To my knowledge we have never had an ambassador who could say hello in Vietnamese.

Mr. Phillips.  How about goodbye?

Mr. Moss. Mr. Phillips, do you have any questions?

Mr. Phillips. I have a follow-up question on the refugees, Mr. Chairman.

An article in the Sunday New York Times of July 11, last Sunday, is entitled “U.S. Aides Fear Violence By Vietnamese Refugees.” The first paragraph, if I could read it, says, ¶

“High U.S. pacification officials are reported to fear large-scale urban violence before the end of the year in the densely populated Mekong Delta southwest of Saigon. The concern that hostile hoardes likely to be spearheaded by disabled veterans and/or other war victims may turn to violence against the South Vietnamese Government was expressed in a report covering a meeting held in Danang early in May by officials of CORDS.”

Could you comment on whether or not you feel that this is a serious problem?

Mr. Luce. Yes, very much so. ¶

And I think what has happened is that beginning in 1965 we began refugeeing the population, that is, we moved a third of the people from their farm homes, we put them in the cities, around the air bases, but we paid them well to sleep with the soldiers, and wash the clothes and this sort of thing. Now jobs are getting more scarce and this urban unrest, I think, is a natural consequence of what we began back in 1965 when we forced the farm people out of their homes.

Now the jobs are disappearing and security is getting no better in the countryside, so these people cannot go back to their farms, so there is nothing else, no way for them to get a better income.

Mr. Phillips. A followup question on that would be to ask for your comments on the forceable repatriation program that has moved many thousands of Vietnamese out of the central highlands area. ¶

It has been suggested that perhaps one reason for this is the desire by the Saigon Government to obtain this land. It is valuable; it has timber resources and grazing land that has never been used.

Do you feel that these kinds of motivations were involved in the forceable repatriation program in that part of Vietnam?

Mr. Luce. Very definitely. ¶

In February of this year Colonel Le Huy Luyen from the Second Corps made a request to the social welfare organization for a “gathering people for hamlet establishment” campaign, and this was basically to move the mountain people from their mountain homes to around the cities. ¶

The volunteer agencies in Vietnam have protested this because of the tremendous destruction it is doing to the mountain people who live by hunting and fishing and rice culture. {p.114}

Now, in one hamlet, Pleiku Tu, they found that in December of 1970 a hundred people had died from treatable diseases. When I left Vietnam in May this figure was up to 350 people who had died from common colds and the complications, lack of adequate facilities.

The villages were resettled in places where they did not have a good water supply, where they could not farm, where they could not do any of these things, and in many cases — well, let me just quote here.

“Vietnamese troops burned the hamlets of Buon Kai, Buon Y Yung, Buon Wing A, Buon Wing B and others in Darlac. In Plei Wok hamlet, Phu Bon province, the gardening tools of the inhabitants were burned along with the houses.

“In another hamlet, in Darlac, the rice crops were destroyed with herbicides at the time of relocation.”

And it goes on to talk about stealing cattle and so on and of Vietnamese officials moving into several of the hamlets that the Montagnards had been forced to leave.

This ties into our concern about American aid, because the U.S. Government, through the voluntary agency branch of CORDS made a special request to the voluntary agencies to give help in the implementation of this gathering of people for hamlet establishment, so that CORDS officially did ask the voluntary agencies to help in this government program to forceably move the mountain people from their homes into the slum areas around the cities.

Mr. Phillips. Could you make some general comments as to how you feel the land reform program is working out in terms of the original concept of it and the plans that were made in the beginning for this redistribution to take place?

Mr. Luce. Well, the redistribution is going very slowly. ¶

I think the primary problem is that, first, the people cannot go back to the land, and the real problem is to have peace so that the people can go back to the farms rather than land distribution of insecure lands.

Secondly, the administration is already paper thin. The Government does not have enough agriculturalists and so on to carry this out. The Government officials are very poorly paid, and the Government officials are not very enthusiastic about any kind of program, so that very little has actually taken place except ceremonies for the press and this sort of thing.

Mr. Phillips. Just one more question, Mr. Chairman.

We have heard a great deal over the years of the so-called bloodbath theory. ¶

Could you make some general comments on this theory? ¶

Is there any truth to it — that when we pull out our troops the North Vietnamese will overrun the country and massacre large numbers of South Vietnamese?

Mr. Luce. I think that the possibilities of a bloodbath are very small, and that far less people will be killed than are being killed now, that actually those people who are in danger of being killed are the people who will go to Switzerland or go to Europe or the States. ¶

The reason I feel like this is that, first of all, almost every Vietnamese I know has relatives on both sides. That is, they have relatives in the NLF as well as the GVN. I went to a wedding in February of this year and in the middle of the wedding feast an NLF major came to the wedding feast, congratulated the bride and groom, joined in the meal, and went around talking to people. {p.115}


The second thing is the importance of the religious groups. As I mentioned earlier, the Catholics are working very hard towards bringing about reconciliation. The Buddhists have been for a long time.

I think it is important to note that week after week in the churches, people who are sympathetic to the NLF are joining in prayer with people who are sympathetic to the Saigon Government.

In Tet, 1968, in Central Vietnam a Buddhist monk held a dinner in which he invited local Saigon troops and local NLF troops into his pagoda. They ate the meal together, they talked about family and friends and this sort of thing, and there was no violence. They got along very well.

There are important religious leaders, again, on both sides. Thich Don Hau, the venerable Don Hau, is the most important religious leader in Vietnam. He is with the NLF. There are religious leaders with the Saigon Government, like Thich Tam Chau. Large numbers of religious leaders are in the middle force, people like Thich Tri Quang, Thich Thien Minh.

Mr. Moss. How does this differ from the situation which caused the massive blood bath in Indonesia, when Suharto’s forces took over the government from Sukarno?

Mr. Luce. I am really not familiar with that.

Mr. Moss. I am asking because of the diversity in religions, the close family ties are very, very typical, and yet we did have in that case a blood bath in major proportions. ¶

Granted that probably, even in its most violent forms, it did not equal the number of civilian lives lost in the war in Vietnam. ¶

But I wondered if you had given any consideration to this rather recent happening?

Mr. Luce. I have looked at it from a different point of view, and that is that following the Geneva conventions in North Vietnam, for example, there was not a blood bath following the 1954 Geneva Conventions. There was 2 years later with regards to a land reform problem.

Mr. Moss. There was a significant exodus, though, from the north to the south?

Mr. Luce. There was a significant exodus. I think that one of the questions is in a settlement, whether it will involve a political settlement, and so that if you have a political settlement — I think the result of, say, an American withdrawal, would be a kind of coalition between the NLF and this middle force.

Now, I don’t know what the—

Mr. Moss. In other words, you think a political settlement would avoid the blood bath forecast by many over the years?

Mr. Luce. Right. And I think that the importance of the religious leaders already speaking out and working toward reconciliation can’t be underestimated.

Mr. Moss. Mr. Cornish?

Mr. Cornish. Thank you, Mr. Moss.

I have been poring over some of these fascinating documents which Mr. Luce has made available to the subcommittee and one of them is the report of a U.S. customs adviser by the name of Joseph R. Kvoriak, which was dated February 3, 1971, in which he details page after page of smuggling operations that were going on at Tan Son Nhut Airport, apparently with the full cooperation of the Vietnamese customs officials there. {p.116}

I might say that this memorandum resulted in a letter to the Vietnamese Director General of Customs, which then later resulted in a crackdown at Tan Son Nhut Airport.

One of the fascinating things that Mr. Kvoriak states in his memorandum is, “It is my opinion that certainly a minimum of 1 billion piasters per month is lost to the Government at the Tan Son Nhut International passenger terminal solely by means of so-called accompanying baggage.” And this morning, Mr. Nooter in his testimony mentioned this crackdown at Tan Son Nhut Airport, and he included an article from Saigon, which appeared in the Baltimore Sun, July 3, and this article states that the tariff revenues for June, after the crackdown, were 1 billion piasters higher than any monthly total during the year, and I think it is absolutely fascinating that Mr. Kvoriak, the U.S. customs adviser, hit that deficit right on the nose.

I think probably while they are handing out those medals on the White House lawn that maybe Mr. Kvoriak ought to be standing down there someday, because apparently his memorandum, which detailed all of the ways in which this was done, really brought about at least one change, and he hit it right on the mark when he said that the Government was losing a billion piasters a month. I calculated that on a yearly basis and translated it into U.S. dollars, and it comes to $102 million a year.

Mr. Moss. Is that using the official or the accommodation rate of exchange?

Mr. Cornish. That, sir, is using the official rate of exchange.

Mr. Moss. 118.

Mr. Cornish. The 118 rate of exchange, and I would submit this figure here, $102 million a year would represent half of the subsidy which the United States is giving to the Government of Vietnam in the inequitable rate of exchange that is now currently used.

Mr. Moss. Do you have those documents for the record?

Mr. Cornish. They are in the subcommittee files.

Mr. Copenhaver. May I ask Mr. Cornish how long he thinks that the improvement will last at the airport?

Mr. Cornish. Well, if it lasts 12 months, although I doubt it will, we could count on $102 million and maybe push a little harder on that rate of exchange adjustment.

Mr. Phillips. That is $8-1/2 million a month.

Mr. Copenhaver. Mr. Luce, is there a relationship between the operations of the people’s defense forces, the Chieu Hoi program, and the Phoenix program? Is there a relationship between those three?

Mr. Luce. Not that I know of.

Mr. Copenhaver. Because they all are working in a sense in the same area, and I have noticed that in the—

Mr. Luce. I think that the Phoenix is primarily an American program, and that Chieu Hoi is certainly encouraged by the Americans. ¶

It is my understanding that a very few of the Chieu Hoi, or the returnees are being released now, because so many of them were returning to the NLF.

Well, it was considered an R. & R., a rest and recreation for the NLF, and that apparently, while it was one of the things we have been bragging for a long time about, there have been no figures of what {p.117} had happened after the people were released. ¶

Apparently, a fairly substantial number are returning to the NLF and it is my understanding that they are now releasing very few of them.

Mr. Copenhaver. My question is, Are there not really operations to support Phoenix or along the lines of Phoenix being managed under the guise of Chieu Hoi and similar type programs?

Mr. Luce. No. I think the connection is between the national police and Phoenix, that as was pointed out this morning, that once Phoenix identifies the people, then the national police arrests them and puts them in their prisons. ¶

I still don’t understand why this means that the police advisers have no responsibility and so on, vis-a-vis, what happens in Phoenix and so on, because I think there is a very direct relationship between the national police and Phoenix.

Mr. Copenhaver. Finally, do you not believe that for the welfare of the Vietnamese, as well as the citizens of this country, that we should eliminate almost all economic assistance to Vietnam?

Mr. Luce. I think that we should eliminate, certainly, all of the police, all of the political, all of the paramilitary, and that the economic, which is a very small part of what we are sending, should be done through international organizations. I think that it requires a major rehauling of the whole AID program. ¶

As it is now, the Vietnamese hate us for our aid.

I have a very simple story.

I have a friend who was tortured in an air-conditioned room, and he said that after that, all he could remember was the American hand clasp on the air conditioner as he looked up and was being tortured, and I think this is pretty much the way Vietnamese see American aid.

Mr. Copenhaver. And we have done more, perhaps, to corrupt them than anyone ever has?

Mr. Luce. We have encouraged corruption, yes.

Mr. Copenhaver. Thank you very much.

Mr. Moss. Mr. Luce, you say that we should discontinue these programs, and maybe we should. I have some very serious reservations about them. ¶

But it isn’t quite as easy as going to international organizations. This committee undertook a study of international organizations. While it is not yet completed, the indications are that they are far less efficient than our own Agency for International Development.

Additionally, they are removed from oversight by the Congress. There is no way we can maintain any kind of control, nor can we audit their activities. We find that they are, to a very large extent, manned, in the International Civil Service, manned by British and Scotch, or heavily weighted by them. Some of them operate with efficiency and some of them with unbelievable inefficiency.

We made a study last fall through — what was it — seven countries in Africa, and the preliminary results of that study were not encouraging as to the effectiveness of international organizations carrying on the programs we have been handling under AID.

Now, in Vietnam we have a very interesting mixture of authority. We have, in my judgment, had totally inadequate planning. Our objectives are very poorly defined, if they are defined at all, and perhaps we need to have redefinition of our objectives.

Mr. Luce. I don’t want to argue with you. {p.118}

Mr. Moss. Greater efficiency in our programs, but I would not want that question to go on the record without raising the doubts of the committee, the doubts that have been brought about after very careful examination. As you know, the administration is urging the greater utilization of international organizations. With that fact clearly before us, the committee determined to examine international organizations in an effort to determine whether they were sufficiently efficient, if they had the capability to perform well on the programs of the type that we have been funding.

Mr. Luce. I am concerned, though, particularly about finding a way so that we can provide aid without vested interests and the accusations of vested interest with the international organizations.

Mr. Moss. We seem to get into that — there is no substitute for good administration of programs where you have a proper definition of objectives. Lacking that, and administering programs in an area where there is an inherent instability, and where we seem to want, above all else, to avoid shaking the boat, or offending the persons in power in the country, under those conditions you can’t have programs as well administered as they should be.

Mr. Luce. I suspect it would be a lot easier to get out of Vietnam now if it were an international situation, because we wouldn’t lose face, as we seem to be afraid of now.

Mr. Moss. I have never had the concern about face that many have. I think you can lose face — General de Gaulle was magnificent in his loss of face. It didn’t bother him for a moment, and he brought France back from a number of areas.

He irritated me all the time he was in office, but nevertheless, you must admit the old gentleman was at his grandest when he had suffered his most embarrassing moments.

I don’t think face is a matter of concern to us here. It shouldn’t be. If we can achieve something that has somehow contributed to a lasting improvement, I think we will somehow justify what we have been doing. ¶

I have my doubts that we can do that, but I hope that we can.

(Sundry documents supplied for the record follow:)


[No. 6780/Ministry of Interior/Political Security/2/B2]

Director of Cabinet,
Saigon, November 25, 1970.

To: Bonzess Truong Thi Thu Loan,
167/2 5th Lien Tinh Street,
District 8,

Dear Bonzess:  Responding to your letter dated on July 15, 1970, asking to set free your brother Truong Van Bai who was captured by the Thua Thien Security Agency in 1964, we solemnly inform you that,

Prisoner Thuong Van Bai was accused of working for the Communists and was then sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. ¶

During serving his sentence in Con Son, instead of repenting, he showed his proof of opposition. ¶

Therefore, he should be detained a period of time in addition.

However, how long he should be detained depends on his level of repentence.

Respectively yours,

Col. Huynh Ngoc Diep,
Ministry of Interior, Republic of Vietnam.


{p.119} {Omitted: Image of the original foregoing letter}


Dien Tin, March 1, 1971.

After the problem that Con was noted “disappeared” during a recent trouble in Con Son, students are going to agitate a struggle asking for the Court’s rejudgment on the sentence of 5-years detention of student Con. ¶

Saigon, February 28 (DT):  The student Union this morning announced they energetically oppose against the disappearance of student Nguyen Thuong Con, chief editor of the student monthly Review. ¶

It was known that student Con was held in Con Son with a sentence of 5 years detention, the sentence beginning in 1970, because he wrote the “Hope” poem and was chief editor of the student monthly review. ¶

But in recent trouble at Con Son, he was noticed “absence” in their checking.

It remains unknown the reason of his disappearance.


{p.120} {Omitted: Newspaper clipping of the foregoing article, in Vietnamese, from the Vietnamese newspaper Dien Tin}. {p.121}


Saigon, April 12, 1971.

To: President Richard Milhous Nixon,
The White House
Washington, D.C.,

(Through the intermediary of the Committee for the Reform of the Prison Regime in South Vietnam.)

Mr. President: Knowing that you share the responsibility for the severity of the prison regime in South Vietnam, knowing that you are paying special attention to all people deprived of liberty since many times in the past you have asked for the liberty of the Americans imprisoned by the North Vietnamese, we, the relatives of the Vietnamese arrested and incarcerated in detention camps and in prisons throughout South Vietnam, are sending this letter in order to present to you the painful realities of the prison regime in South Vietnam and ask you to take urgent action:

1.  Throughout South Vietnam, U.S. intelligence agencies have been participating in the incarceration of the Vietnamese and are using systematically all the refined and scientific methods of torture in order to extract forcefully declarations of guilt and thus encroach upon human dignity and oppose the Declaration of Human Rights. As a result, many Vietnamese have become sick or disabled, died or secretly killed, the facts being hidden to the public through a curtain of secrecy.

2.  The interrogation centers belonging to the security system of the Republic of Vietnam Government are now incarcerating the suspects, arrested without any proof of guilt or with the only proof of being guilty for “loving their country and fighting for peace in Vietnam.” These people are tortured in an utterly savage manner in order to obtain their declaration and constituting their file or false proofs of guilt are devised against them and sent to the tribunal.

3.  The prisoners are ill-treated, repressed and brutally beaten throughout South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese administration is using the means provided by the U.S. aid such as tear gas, tear gas rockets, acid, and so forth in order to repress the prisoners. Many prisoners have died or become sick or disabled because of these repressions.

4.  Prisons are too narrow, dirty and too crowded, with not enough air for breath. In many prisons, typical of which are the tiger cages in Con Son, the prisoners are shackled day and night so that some of them have become paralyzed. Presently your Government is helping with money and other moans in the construction of new tiger cages in Con Son. This has disturbed and angered us as well as the people of Vietnam.

5.  The communication between us and our relatives in prison has been limited to the minimum or forbidden completely. Many of us have been denied to visit our relatives or to receive letters from them. Our demands are ignored by the Government, sometimes we have been repressed (for example the repression occurred on March 19, 1970, in front of the Lower House.)

6.  The food in prisons is too poor composed mainly of rotten rice and bitter dry fish. Medicines are lacking. As a consequence, the majority of prisoners have lung disease, mental disease, paralysis or beri beri.

7.  Many people have been arrested and incarcerated for months or for years without trial or sentence or continued to be imprisoned under the regime of detention without any valid reason or they may be imprisoned or deported although they are under probation.

8.  There are people who are tortured or repressed to death and people who die of sickness in prison without their family being notified.

We have been presenting to you the real happenings in the prisons throughout South Vietnam. From this presentation, you may refer to the prison regime in your country as well as in other civilized countries in the world. You will see what your aid in human and material resources have contributed to the people of Vietnam.

Presently most prisons in South Vietnam have advisors from your country and have received physical aid from U.S.A. If the material aids serve a useful purpose, we will never forget your kindness and humanitarianism in helping us against poverty and backwardness. On the contrary, the prisons in South Vietnam being considered as inhuman, we wonder whether your effort and the effort of your administration provoke in us gratefulness or resentment?

Thus we, the suffering Vietnamese, appeal to your sense of fairness and your sense of responsibility and request you to meet the following demands: {p.122}

1.  Order the employees of your government to end their participation with the government of the Republic of Vietnam in maintaining a prison regime contrary to the conscience and humanitarianism of men and women in the world.

2.  Intervene with the government of the Republic of Vietnam in satisfying our following demands:

(a)  Free all people detained illegally or without evidence for the purpose of terrorising and repressing the Vietnamese peace-loving patriots. Free the people who are detained without sentence or with expired sentences, the people who are on probation, the people who are old, sick and the small children.

(b)  Follow a policy of treating the prisoners with humanitarianism, change completely the present erroneous approach as regarding food, living facilities, clothes, medicines, spiritual activities, the methods of repressing, terrorizing and brutalizing the prisoners.

Anxious to safeguard the rights to live of our relatives, with the conviction that the right and the humanitarian will be accomplished, we wish you to accept our sincere thanks.

Respectfully yours,

Ngugen Thi Binh,
Huynh Thi Hoa,

The Representatives of Relatives of Prisoners in South Vietnam.


Mr. Moss. The committee will now adjourn until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.

Thank you very much, Mr. Luce.

(Whereupon, at 4:35 p.m., the hearing was adjourned, to reconvene at 10 a.m., Friday, July 16, 1971.) {p.123}



Source: The printed hearings (cited below).

By CJHjr: Photocopied at 141%, scanned, converted to text (OCR: FineReader 7.0), formatted (xhtml/css), links, text {in braces}, text beside a green bar |, text in yellow boxes, bold-face, bold-italics, highlighting, added paragraphing (for ease of reading) marked with this trailing paragraph symbol: ¶ .

This document (the second Phoenix hearings): July 15 1971 p.m. hearing, pages 95-122, U.S. Congress, House Hearings, U.S. Assistance Programs in Vietnam (U.S. Congress 92-1, House Committee on Government Operations, Subcommittee on Foreign Operations and Government Information, Hearings, July 15 {a.m., p.m.}, 16, 19, 21, and August 2 1971, 4+362 pages) {SuDoc: Y 4.G 74/7:V 67/4, CIS: 72 H401-3, OCLC: 235387, LCCN: 71616178 pf, DL, WorldCat}. Ensuing report: U.S. Assistance Programs in Vietnam (U.S. Congress 92-2, House Report No. 92-1610, House Committee on Government Operations, October 17 1972, 5+107 pages) {SuDoc: [Y 1.1/8:]92-2:H.RP.1610, Serial Set: 12976-6, CIS: 72 H403-19, OCLC: 540690, LCCN: 72603272 pf, WorldCat} {Full text: pages 1-46 2.4mb.pdf, pages 47-97 2.8mb.pdf, pages 99-107 501kb.pdf, omitting page 98 and repeating page 107, instead, at the start}.

Next: July 16 1971 hearing (pages 123-173) {100 kb}.

See also:

The first Phoenix hearings: Vietnam: Policy and Prospects, 1970 {58.4mb.pdf, source}, “Hearings on Civil Operations and Rural Development Support Program” (U.S. Congress 91-2, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Hearings, February 17, 18, 19, 20, and March 3, 4, 17, 19, 1970, and Appendix, 7+750 pages) {SuDoc: Y 4.F 76/2:V 67/17, CIS: 71 S381-2, OCLC: 119418, LCCN: 76610214 pf, DL, WorldCat}.

The third Phoenix hearings: Nomination of William E. Colby to be Director of Central Intelligence (U.S. Congress 93-1, Senate Armed Services Committee, Hearings, July 2, 20 {a.m., p.m.}, 25, 1973, 3+186 pages) {SuDoc: Y 4.AR 5/3:C 67/3, CIS: 73 S201-27, OCLC: 800312, LCCN: 73603022 pf, DL, WorldCat}. Witnesses: William E. Colby, Robert F. Drinan, Samuel A. Adams, Paul Sakwa, David S. Harrington, Kenneth B. Osborn.

Vietnam Policy Proposals: Hearings on nine proposed items of legislation to end the U.S. war in Vietnam (U.S. Congress 91-2, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Hearings, February 3, 4, 5, and March 16, 1970, 5+405 pages) {SuDoc: Y 4.F 76/2:V 67/16, CIS: 70 S381-7, OCLC: 78825, LCCN: 74606991 pf, DL, WorldCat}.

National Veterans Inquiry on U.S. War Crimes in Vietnam (Citizens’ Commission of Inquiry on U.S. War Crimes, Washington D.C., December 1-3 1970), transcript, 117 Congressional Record 4238-4271 (U.S. Congress 92-1, March 1 1971, Permanent Edition (red bound)) {SuDoc: X.92/1:117/PT.4, ISSN: 0883-1947, OCLC: 05058415, LCCN: 12036438 pf, GPOCat, LL: paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}. Witnesses: Robert Bowie Johnson Jr., Mike McCusker, Daniel K. Amigone, Greg Motoka, Kenneth Barton Osborn, Norman Kiger, Gail Graham, Steve Noetzel, Edward Murphy, Daniel Alfiero, Louis Paul Font, Robert Master, Peter Norman Martinsen, T. Griffiths Ellison, Ed Melton, Chuck Hamilton, Lee Meyrowitz, Gordon S. Livingston, Greg Turgeon, Richard Altenberger, Bob Connelly, Robert Lifton, Chaim Shatan, Donald Engel, Gary Thamer, Steven Hassett, Kenneth Campbell, Sam Rankin, Phillip Wingenbach, Tod Ensign, Larry Rottmann, Robert Osman.

Winter Soldier Investigation (Vietnam Veterans Against the War Inc., Detroit Michigan, January 31, February 1-2, 1971), transcript, 117 Congressional Record 9947-10055 (U.S. Congress 92-1, April 6 1971, Permanent Edition (red bound)) {SuDoc: X.92/1:117/PT.8, ISSN: 0883-1947, OCLC: 05058415, LCCN: 12036438 pf, GPOCat, LL: paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}; 117 Congressional Record E 2825-2936 (U.S. Congress 92-1, April 6-? 1971, Daily Edition (green bound)) {SuDoc: X/A.92/1:117/???-???, ISSN: 0363-7239, LCCN: 80646573 pf, OCLC: 02437919, GPOCat, LL: paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}.

American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia, 1971 (U.S. Congress 92-1, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on National Security Policy and Scientific Developments, Hearings, March 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, April 1, 6, 20 {vvaw}, 1971, 9+583 pages) {SuDoc: Y 4.F 76/1:P 93/4/971/PT.1, CIS: 71 H381-9, OCLC: 15634210, LCCN: 77612471 pf, WorldCat}, witness: Larry Rottmann (volunteer coordinator, Vietnam Veterans Against the War), April 20 1971 hearing, pages 353-423 {3.2mb.pdf}, at pages 406-423. CIS: “Description of charged mistreatment of prisoners in South Vietnam by American forces; report of receiving Officers Candidate School instruction on the use of torture.”


Legislative Proposals Relating to the War in Southeast Asia {44.14mb.pdf, source} “Hearings before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Ninety-Second Congress, First Session, on S. 376, S. 974, S.J. Res. 82, S.J. Res. 89, S. Con. Res. 17, S. Res. 62, and S. Res. 66” (U.S. Congress 92-1, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Hearings, April 20-May 27 1971: “April 20, 21 and 22, 28, May 3, 11, 12, 13, 25, 26 and 27, 1971,” 7+726+12 pages) {SuDoc: Y 4.F 76/2:AS 4/13, CIS: 71 S381-18, OCLC: 198272, LCCN: 79614140 pf, DL, WorldCat}, witness: John Kerry (VVAW: Vietnam Veterans Against the War), Thursday April 22 1971, 11:05am-1:00pm, pages 179-210 {3.1mb.pdf}.

House Ad Hoc Hearing for Vietnam Veterans Against the War (U.S. Congressmen Jonathon Bingham and Paul Findley, presiding, Friday, April 23 1971, Venue: U.S. Congress, House of Representatives), transcript, 117 Congressional Record 13104-13118 (U.S. Congress 92-1, May 3 1971, Permanent Edition (red bound)) {SuDoc: X.92/1:117/PT.10, ISSN: 0883-1947, OCLC: 05058415, LCCN: 12036438 pf, GPOCat, LL: paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}. Witnesses: Larry Rottmann, Forest Lindley, Les Johnson, Arthur Egendorf, Kip A. Kypriandes, Phillip Lowley, Vinny Giardina, Michael Paul McCusker, William W. Lemmer, Alex Prim, Robert McLaughlin, Jack Smith, David B. Maize.

Senate Ad Hoc Hearing for Vietnam Veterans Against the War (U.S. Senator George McGovern, presiding, Friday, April 23 1971, Venue: U.S. Congress, Senate, Room G-103 New Senate Office Building), transcript, 117 Congressional Record 15392-15405 (U.S. Congress 92-1, May 17 1971, Permanent Edition (red bound)) {SuDoc: X.92/1:117/PT.12, ISSN: 0883-1947, OCLC: 05058415, LCCN: 12036438 pf, GPOCat, LL: paper, microfiche, DL, WorldCat}. Witnesses: Scott Camil, Vinny Giardina, Melville L. Stephens, Basil Paquet, Joe Nielsen, Dale Granata, Everett Carson, Forrest Lindley Jr., Samuel Miller, David A. Lamenzo, Jon Bjornson, Ken Provan.

Ad Hoc Hearings on Command Responsibility for War Atrocities in Vietnam {copy} (U.S. Congressman Ron Dellums, presiding, April 26, 27, 28, 29, 1971, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Venue: U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building), transcript, The Dellums Committee Hearings on War Crimes in Vietnam: An Inquiry into Command Responsibility in Southeast Asia (New York, Vintage Books, 1972, 13+355 pages) {LCCN: 79039897 pf, ISBN: 0394717678, WorldCat}. Witnesses: Five West Point graduates (Fred Laughlin, Gordon Livingston {Iraq, copy}, Robert B. Johnson, Greg Hayward, Ron Bartek, Michael O'Mera), five former military intelligence special agents and PoW interrogators {omitted from the linked source}, ten former Americal Division members (Gary Battles, Charles David Locke, Terry Mullen, Steve Padoris, Daniel S. Notley, John Beitzel, Guadalupe G. Villarreal, Daniel Barnes, Thomas Cole, William Toffling), overview of air war, pacification, and forced urbanization (John Sack, Kenneth Campbell, Randy Floyd, Elliot L Meyrowitz).

Bertrand Russell Tribunal, “International War Crimes Tribunal” (Stockholm Sweden, May 2-10 1967; Roskilde Denmark, November 20 – December 1 1967).

Tiger Force: “Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths: Tiger Force, an elite fighting unit in Vietnam, left a trail of atrocities in that country that have been concealed from the public for three decades.” (The Blade, Toledo Ohio, October 22 2003, February 15, March 28, April 6, May 2, May 12 2004).

This document is not copyrighted and may be freely copied.


Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

Posted June 11 2004. Updated May 10 2009.


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