Hi, Glen -
I cannot help you with your book search but I do have some ops on your thesis about people trying to hit Uncle Sam on the purse.
Most US books on the Korean War are based on the theme: America saved Rhee's democratic, peace-loving, free nation from the evils of Satanic Stalin and his running dog, Kim Il Sung.
Any facts that depict Rhee otherwise are religiously hidden and suppressed in American and South Korea, because exposing the real Rhee and his gov would undermine the US line. In fact until Kim Young Sam/Kim Dae Jung took over South Korea in mid1990s, bad-mouthing Uncle Sam was against law (the National Security Law) in South Korea. Violators were arrested, tortured and jailed or executed; their properties were confiscated, family and kin were blacklisted.
Even today, many South Koreans are reluctant to speak out. This is also true in America - few Americans have the courage to admit to wrong doing in Korea. Those few Americans who have - Col. Donald Nichols and Capt. James Hausman for example - blame Rhee, ignoring that fact that Rhee's security forces were under US advisors and commanders. For example. Nichols ran Rhee's CIC (remember Rhee's CIC chief, Kim the Snake?) and Hausman ran Rhee's army.
Some legal scholars say that the US should be held responsible for the evil deeds committed by Rhee, citing the precedence of Gen. Yamashida (The Tiger), the Japanese commander in chief, the Philippines. He was hanged for the crimes committed by his troops as well as by Japanese marines not under his command. The marines went wild in Manila, killing, raping and burning. At his court-martial, Yamashida claimed that he had little control over the marines and therefore he was accountable for their crimes. Yamashita was convicted and hanged.
Gen. Hon Sa Ik, too, was hanged by the US military for crimes against the American POWs. Hong, the ranking Korean in the Japanese Army, was in charge of POW camps in the Philippines. Hong claimed that the camps were run by Malay and local guards, over which he had limited control. Hong was hanged, too.
The facts of Rhee's crimes have begun to surface in South Korea, but the question of who should "pay" for his crimes is yet to be settled. More specifically, some of the major crimes by Rhee are: Cheju 4.3, civilian massacres in connection with the Yosu-Sunchun mutiny and Daejon prison massacre. The Nogung-ri, horrible though it may be, pales in comparison to Rhee's massacres that involved 6,000 (Daejun), 12,000 (Yosu) and some 20,000 (Cheju 4.3).
BTW, I was in Hamhung in 1950 and toured the Hamhung prison where about 200 prisoners were killed by North Korean communists. In South Korea, the 'historians" of this massacre have jacked up 200 to over 25,000 'innocent civilians' killed! Sometimes I feel sorry for that KIS fellow - he gets blamed for all bad things and some.