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Re: CIA Discloses Korean Spy Records
As the author of the book described by Bob Burns' article, please permit
me to respond to several points you've made here.
While the agents & partisans did tie up thousands (figures vary widely on
the number) of troops for rear areas security duty, you've got to keep in
mind that this is Asia we're talking about. It really doesn't matter how
many troops are tied up in such duties, when you have an inexhaustible number
of troops available for all tasks. In fact, so many troops were available
that combat units were pulled off the front-line (for rear area duties) after
the communists figured out (summer-fall '51) that the UN forces were not
coming north of the 38th parallel again.
The families of agents lost should indeed have received compensation from
the UN (read U.S.). But I found no records suggesting that this has
happened. I've recently become aware (from ysk) that the Korean government ma
y have offered some compensation.
Whatever was learned about special operations by the U.S. military in
Korea was largely lost by the time we became seriously involved in Vietnam.
Again, indigenous agents (South Vietnamese) were squandered in hopeless
missions (read Secret Army, Secret War) organized and directed by senior U.S.
officers. The same ones who often gave all the great talks to their
subordinates about moral courage, ethics, and integrity in the officer corps.
It's not a pretty picture. With the exception of one magnificent
renegade (Air Commando Heinie Aderholt), I'm not aware that any senior
officer seriously protested to his superiors about carrying out such programs
despite their futility.