John Chamless of the Dallas Morning News writes:
When a government starts trying to hide war casualties, you know its worried about people turning against a war. I have a very personal reminder of such sleight of hand at home. It is a prisoner-of-war bracelet for a friend of mine who was listed as “missing” in Vietnam. He went “missing” from the skids of a helicopter a hundred feet or so above a jungle battle. His parents were told the truth, but the nation was lied to by his inclusion as “missing.” The military, or its civilian ledership, created a real problem by hiding all of those dead soldiers. Decades later, it had problems explaining that there really weren’t all of these “prisoners” wasting away in Vietnam.
I have to admit, I never understood why North Vietnam would supposedly hold onto so many prisoners after the war while they were busily slaughtering their southern compatriots. Nor why we should have had so much trouble finding our lost men, if they were alive or even executed en masse. This shows, once more, that if something doesn’t make sense somehow, it probably isn’t true.