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kenneth collins kenneth.p.collins at worldnet.att.net
Sat Dec 11 16:21:58 EST 2004

and forty thousand. These
questions were even more intriguing in light of the fact that the
man chosen to run the military review of the massacre, General
Peers, had a long term relationship with the CIA. In fact, former
Special Forces Captain John McCarthy told me that-in terms of
closeness to the Agency-Peers was another Ed Lansdale.

By the time Hersh's second book on the subject appeared, the
suspicions about the massacre, and that Peers had directed a
cover up, were now multiplying. Hersh went out of his way to
address these questions in Cover Up. On pages 97-98 the following
passage appears:
  There was no conspiracy to destroy the village of My Lai 4;
  what took place there had happened before and would happen
  again in Quang Ngai province-although with less drastic
  results. The desire of Lieutenant Colonel Barker to mount
  another successful, high enemy body-count operation in the
  area; the desire of Ramsdell to demonstrate the
  effectiveness of his operations; the belief shared by all
  the principals that everyone living in Son My was staying
  there by choice because of Communists...and the basic
  incompetence of many intelligence personnel in the Army-all
  these factors combined to enable a group of ambitious men to
  mount an unnecessary mission against a nonexistent enemy
  force, and somehow to find the evidence to justify it all.

I won't go into all the things that must be true for Hersh to be
correct. I will add that in the definitive book of the subject,
The Phoenix Program, My Lai is described as part of the
Colby/Shackley operation.

After My Lai, the New York Times assigned Hersh to the Watergate
beat. The paper was getting scooped 

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