Ben Stein is bitching about a New Yorker article called 'The Spy Who Loved Us," by Thomas Bass, about Pham Xuan An.
I will go to the library and check out the article but I should point out that Ben Stein is an ass. The "liberal" media has not made clear the enormous wrong that US policy makers inflicted upon the people of Vietnam, we had no right at all to do what we did to those people.
We violated the basic principle of democracy by undermining the will of the Vietnamese people.
The 1954 Geneva agreements did not "partition" Vietnam but separated two military zones by a temporary demarcation line that "should not in any way be interpreted as constituting a political or territorial boundary," pending the unification elections of 1956 that were the heart of the accords. Elections were supposed to be held, unifying the country. The Geneva agreement divided into two zones, not two countries; our government lied about this. The US backed Diem who refused to go through with the 1954 provision calling for nationwide elections in 1956. THIS is going against democracy! Why did Diem refuse? Because he knew as did others that he would lose the election, President Eisenhower said that Ho Chi Minh would win 90% of the vote in a free election. The CIA supported the repressive Vietnamese ruling the South--who were not only repressive but were also greedy. WE HAD NO RIGHT TO DO THIS! (The Vietnamese have a right to govern themselves and vote for the system they want!) We blocked elections in Vietnam because it was obvious Ho Chi Minh was going to win there. The Kennedy administration escalated the attack against South Vietnam from massive state terror to outright aggression in 1961-1962. We were not 'defending' South Vietnam. As Chomsky says, "I have never seen in thirty years that I have been looking carefully, one phrase even suggesting that we were not defending South Vietnam. Now, we weren't: we were attacking South Vietnam. We were attacking South Vietnam as clearly as any aggression in history. But try to find one phrase anywhere in any American newspaper, outside of real marginal publications, just stating that elementary fact. It's unstable."