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  • Vietnam: The War Crimes files

    Declassified papers show U.S. atrocities went far beyond My Lai

    The men of B Company were in a dangerous state of mind. They had lost five men in a firefight the day before. The morning of Feb. 8, 1968, brought unwelcome orders to resume their sweep of the countryside, a green patchwork of rice paddies along Vietnam's central coast.

    They met no resistance as they entered a nondescript settlement in Quang Nam province. So Jamie Henry, a 20-year-old medic, set his rifle down in a hut, unfastened his bandoliers and lighted a cigarette.

    Just then, the voice of a lieutenant crackled across the radio. He reported that he had rounded up 19 civilians, and wanted to know what to do with them. Henry later recalled the company commander's response:

    Kill anything that moves.

    Henry stepped outside the hut and saw a small crowd of women and children. Then the shooting began.

    Moments later, the 19 villagers lay dead or dying.

    Back home in California, Henry published an account of the slaughter and held a news conference to air his allegations. Yet he and other Vietnam veterans who spoke out about war crimes were branded traitors and fabricators. No one was ever prosecuted for the massacre.

    Now, nearly 40 years later, declassified Army files show that Henry was telling the truth — about the Feb. 8 killings and a series of other atrocities by the men of B Company.

    The files are part of a once-secret archive, assembled by a Pentagon task force in the early 1970s, that shows that confirmed atrocities by U.S. forces in Vietnam were more extensive than was previously known.

    The documents detail 320 alleged incidents that were substantiated by Army investigators — not including the most notorious U.S. atrocity, the 1968 My Lai massacre.

    Though not a complete accounting of Vietnam war crimes, the archive is the largest such collection to surface to date. About 9,000 pages, it includes investigative files, sworn statements by witnesses and status reports for top military brass.

    The records describe recurrent attacks on ordinary Vietnamese — families in their homes, farmers in rice paddies, teenagers out fishing. Hundreds of soldiers, in interviews with investigators and letters to commanders, described a violent minority who murdered, raped and tortured with impunity.

    Abuses were not confined to a few rogue units, a Times review of the files found. They were uncovered in every Army division that operated in Vietnam.

    Retired Brig. Gen. John H. Johns, a Vietnam veteran who served on the task force, says he once supported keeping the records secret but now believes they deserve wide attention in light of alleged attacks on civilians and abuse of prisoners in Iraq.

    "We can't change current practices unless we acknowledge the past," says Johns, 78.

    Among the substantiated cases in the archive:

    • Seven massacres from 1967 through 1971 in which at least 137 civilians died.

    • Seventy-eight other attacks on noncombatants in which at least 57 were killed, 56 wounded and 15 sexually assaulted.

    • One hundred forty-one instances in which U.S. soldiers tortured civilian detainees or prisoners of war with fists, sticks, bats, water or electric shock.

    Investigators determined that evidence against 203 soldiers accused of harming Vietnamese civilians or prisoners was strong enough to warrant formal charges. These "founded" cases were referred to the soldiers' superiors for action......

    Continue reading..... Vietnam: The War Crimes files - Civilian killings went unpunished

    8-page article

  • #2
    SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Killings of civilians by U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam war were far more numerous than previously known and went largely unpunished, according to a survey of declassified Army documents by the Los Angeles Times published on Sunday.

    The files are part of an archive of about 9,000 pages assembled by a Pentagon task force in the early 1970s, which the Times said confirmed that atrocities by U.S. forces had gone far beyond what public records had shown.

    Among the events substantiated by the records were seven massacres in Vietnam from 1967 through 1971 in which at least 137 civilians died. Those do not include the notorious 1968 massacre of about 500 civilians at My Lai village.

    There were 78 other attacks on non-combatants in which at least 57 people were killed, 56 wounded and 15 sexually assaulted. In total, 320 incidents of abuse by U.S. soldiers are substantiated, it said.

    "Abuses were not confined to a few rogue units," the Times reported. "They were uncovered in every Army division that operated in Vietnam," the Times reported.

    The Vietnam report comes as the military investigates alleged abuse of Iraqi civilians by U.S. soldiers, including the killing of 24 people in Haditha and a quadruple murder and rape in Mahumdiya.

    One quarter of the 203 soldiers accused of harming Vietnamese civilians or prisoners were court-martialed, but only 23 were convicted, according to the newspaper's review.

    The report is based on records of the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. The records were first released in 1994 - 20 years after the group closed its probe - and moved to the archive, where they went largely unnoticed, the Times said.

    The collection includes 241 case summaries that chronicle more than 300 substantiated atrocities by U.S. forces and 500 unconfirmed allegations, according to the Times.

    The newspaper said it examined most of the files and obtained copies of 3,000 pages, or one third of the total, before government officials removed them from public shelves, saying they were exempt from federal information disclosure laws.

    U.S. atrocities in Vietnam were extensive - report

    Comment


    • #3
      Documents show U.S. troops who reported abuse in Vietnam were discredited even as the military was finding evidence of worse:

      In early 1973, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Creighton Abrams received some bad news from the service's chief of criminal investigations.

      An internal inquiry had confirmed an officer's widely publicized charge that members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade had tortured detainees in Vietnam. But there was a silver lining: Investigators had also compiled a 53-page catalog of alleged discrepancies in retired Lt. Col. Anthony B. Herbert's public accounts of his war experiences.

      "This package & provides sufficient material to impeach this man's credibility; should this need arise, I volunteer for the task," wrote Col. Henry H. Tufts, commander of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division.

      Now, declassified records show that while the Army was working energetically to discredit Herbert, military investigators were uncovering torture and mistreatment that went well beyond what he had described.

      The abuses were not made public, and few of the wrongdoers were punished.

      Tufts' agents found that military interrogators in the 173rd Airborne repeatedly beat prisoners, tortured them with electric shocks and forced water down their throats to simulate the sensation of drowning, the records show.

      Soldiers in one unit told investigators that their captain approved of such methods and was sometimes present during torture sessions.

      In one case, a detainee who had been beaten by interrogators suffered convulsions, lost consciousness and later died in his confinement cage.

      Investigators identified 29 members of the 173rd Airborne as suspects in confirmed cases of torture. Fifteen of them admitted the acts. Yet only three were punished, records show. They received fines or reductions in rank. None served any prison time.

      The accounts of torture and the Army's effort to discredit Herbert emerged from a review of a once-secret Pentagon archive.

      The collection - about 9,000 pages - was compiled in the early 1970s by an Army task force that monitored war crimes investigations. The files, examined recently by the Los Angeles Times, include memos, case summaries, investigative reports and sworn witness statements.

      Those and related records detail 141 instances of detainee and prisoner abuse in Vietnam, including 127 involving the 173rd Airborne.

      The Army task force, created after journalist Seymour Hersh exposed the 1968 My Lai massacre, served to give military brass and the White House early warning about potentially damaging revelations.

      The war crimes records were declassified in 1994 and moved to the National Archives in College Park, Md., where they went largely unnoticed.

      The Times examined most of the files before officials removed them from the public shelves, saying they contained personal information that was exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

      Other records were taken by Tufts in the 1970s and donated after his death to the University of Michigan.

      The two collections do not provide a complete accounting of prisoner abuse during the Vietnam War. They contain only cases reported to military authorities and flagged for special attention by the Army chief of staff's office or taken home by Tufts. But they represent the largest pool of such records to surface to date.

      Retired Brig. Gen. John H. Johns, a Vietnam veteran who served on the task force, said the files provided important lessons for dealing with the prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq.

      "If we rationalize it as isolated acts, as we did in Vietnam and as we're doing with Abu Ghraib and similar atrocities, we'll never correct the problem," said Johns, 78.

      A coal miner's son, Anthony Herbert was one of the most decorated U.S. soldiers of the Korean War. He went on to become an Army Ranger and a Ranger instructor. In 1968, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and in early 1969 was awarded command of a battalion in the 173rd Airborne.

      The brigade was based in Binh Dinh province in the central coastal region when Herbert arrived. Over the next two months, his unit reported more enemy contacts than any other battalion in the 173rd Airborne.

      Then on April 4, 1969, Herbert was relieved of his command for allegedly unsatisfactory performance. He later told investigators from the Criminal Investigation Division that, before his removal, he had informed his superior of war crimes that he had witnessed.

      Herbert recounted a series of atrocities.

      He said South Vietnamese troops had executed detainees in the presence of an American military advisor in February 1969. One of the victims had her throat slit as her child clung to her pant leg, Herbert said. (Investigators later concluded that about eight detainees had been slain.)

      The following month, U.S. and Vietnamese interrogators tortured a teenager or young woman by electric shock and subjected a male detainee to water torture, Herbert said. He said he also saw interrogators beat two Vietnamese women held in metal storage containers.

      Herbert told the investigators that he had reported these incidents to Col. J. Ross Franklin. On learning of the allegations, then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. William C. Westmoreland ordered Tufts to create a task force to conduct the investigation.

      Before it was finished, Herbert took matters into his own hands and brought charges against Franklin and his superior, Maj. Gen. John W. Barnes, in March 1971, saying they failed to investigate reports of war crimes.

      As Army officials feared, the case received widespread coverage because of Herbert's distinguished combat career and Barnes' rank, and because Franklin had served on the commission investigating the My Lai massacre.

      Herbert achieved celebrity status as the case played out in the media. He appeared on "The Dick Cavett Show," was interviewed by Playboy magazine and was featured in a New York Times Sunday magazine article titled: "How a Supersoldier Was Fired From His Command."

      Barnes and Franklin denied that Herbert had reported war crimes to them. According to news reports at the time, Barnes told an investigator he removed Herbert as battalion commander because he was "a keg of dynamite" who was "completely oriented to killing mercilessly."

      The Army dismissed the charges against Barnes and Franklin, and removed Herbert's negative performance review.

      Nevertheless, Herbert continued to accuse military leaders of a coverup. The Army responded by releasing "fact sheets" that said the investigation had substantiated only seven of 21 allegations by Herbert and had found no evidence that his superiors knew about them or retaliated against him.

      In February 1972, Army magazine said that Herbert's "eminence is undeserved" and devoted six pages to the fact sheets.

      Herbert retired from the Army, citing harassment and strain on his family.

      In January 1973, his memoir, "Soldier," hit the bookstores, and the Army's public information office scoured its pages for inconsistencies, records show.

      Around the same time, the Army leaked internal reports on Herbert to CBS News, according to an Army memorandum. The TV news magazine "60 Minutes" aired a segment on Feb. 4, 1973, that attacked Herbert's claims of coverup and retaliation.

      Unknown to the public, Army investigators probing Herbert's charges had learned that abuse of detainees by soldiers of the 173rd Airborne was much more extensive than he had alleged.

      When contacted recently at his home in Colorado, Herbert declined to be quoted about the Army investigation, except to say: "If they'd really taken action about the bad apples and been honest about it and then they wouldn't be arguing about Abu Ghraib and different places today."

      The problem centered on the brigade's 172nd Military Intelligence Detachment, known as the 172nd MI. Reports that interrogators in the unit were torturing prisoners had begun to surface several years before Herbert first made his allegations......

      Comment


      • #4
        continued.....

        Documents show U.S. troops who reported abuse in Vietnam were discredited even as the military was finding evidence of worse:

        In early 1973, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Creighton Abrams received some bad news from the service's chief of criminal investigations.

        An internal inquiry had confirmed an officer's widely publicized charge that members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade had tortured detainees in Vietnam. But there was a silver lining: Investigators had also compiled a 53-page catalog of alleged discrepancies in retired Lt. Col. Anthony B. Herbert's public accounts of his war experiences.

        "This package & provides sufficient material to impeach this man's credibility; should this need arise, I volunteer for the task," wrote Col. Henry H. Tufts, commander of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division.

        Now, declassified records show that while the Army was working energetically to discredit Herbert, military investigators were uncovering torture and mistreatment that went well beyond what he had described.

        The abuses were not made public, and few of the wrongdoers were punished.

        Tufts' agents found that military interrogators in the 173rd Airborne repeatedly beat prisoners, tortured them with electric shocks and forced water down their throats to simulate the sensation of drowning, the records show.

        Soldiers in one unit told investigators that their captain approved of such methods and was sometimes present during torture sessions.

        In one case, a detainee who had been beaten by interrogators suffered convulsions, lost consciousness and later died in his confinement cage.

        Investigators identified 29 members of the 173rd Airborne as suspects in confirmed cases of torture. Fifteen of them admitted the acts. Yet only three were punished, records show. They received fines or reductions in rank. None served any prison time.

        The accounts of torture and the Army's effort to discredit Herbert emerged from a review of a once-secret Pentagon archive.

        The collection - about 9,000 pages - was compiled in the early 1970s by an Army task force that monitored war crimes investigations. The files, examined recently by the Los Angeles Times, include memos, case summaries, investigative reports and sworn witness statements.

        Those and related records detail 141 instances of detainee and prisoner abuse in Vietnam, including 127 involving the 173rd Airborne.

        The Army task force, created after journalist Seymour Hersh exposed the 1968 My Lai massacre, served to give military brass and the White House early warning about potentially damaging revelations.

        The war crimes records were declassified in 1994 and moved to the National Archives in College Park, Md., where they went largely unnoticed.

        The Times examined most of the files before officials removed them from the public shelves, saying they contained personal information that was exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

        Other records were taken by Tufts in the 1970s and donated after his death to the University of Michigan.

        The two collections do not provide a complete accounting of prisoner abuse during the Vietnam War. They contain only cases reported to military authorities and flagged for special attention by the Army chief of staff's office or taken home by Tufts. But they represent the largest pool of such records to surface to date.

        Retired Brig. Gen. John H. Johns, a Vietnam veteran who served on the task force, said the files provided important lessons for dealing with the prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq.

        "If we rationalize it as isolated acts, as we did in Vietnam and as we're doing with Abu Ghraib and similar atrocities, we'll never correct the problem," said Johns, 78.

        A coal miner's son, Anthony Herbert was one of the most decorated U.S. soldiers of the Korean War. He went on to become an Army Ranger and a Ranger instructor. In 1968, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and in early 1969 was awarded command of a battalion in the 173rd Airborne.

        The brigade was based in Binh Dinh province in the central coastal region when Herbert arrived. Over the next two months, his unit reported more enemy contacts than any other battalion in the 173rd Airborne.

        Then on April 4, 1969, Herbert was relieved of his command for allegedly unsatisfactory performance. He later told investigators from the Criminal Investigation Division that, before his removal, he had informed his superior of war crimes that he had witnessed.

        Herbert recounted a series of atrocities.

        He said South Vietnamese troops had executed detainees in the presence of an American military advisor in February 1969. One of the victims had her throat slit as her child clung to her pant leg, Herbert said. (Investigators later concluded that about eight detainees had been slain.)

        The following month, U.S. and Vietnamese interrogators tortured a teenager or young woman by electric shock and subjected a male detainee to water torture, Herbert said. He said he also saw interrogators beat two Vietnamese women held in metal storage containers.

        Herbert told the investigators that he had reported these incidents to Col. J. Ross Franklin. On learning of the allegations, then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. William C. Westmoreland ordered Tufts to create a task force to conduct the investigation.

        Before it was finished, Herbert took matters into his own hands and brought charges against Franklin and his superior, Maj. Gen. John W. Barnes, in March 1971, saying they failed to investigate reports of war crimes.

        As Army officials feared, the case received widespread coverage because of Herbert's distinguished combat career and Barnes' rank, and because Franklin had served on the commission investigating the My Lai massacre.

        Herbert achieved celebrity status as the case played out in the media. He appeared on "The Dick Cavett Show," was interviewed by Playboy magazine and was featured in a New York Times Sunday magazine article titled: "How a Supersoldier Was Fired From His Command."

        Barnes and Franklin denied that Herbert had reported war crimes to them. According to news reports at the time, Barnes told an investigator he removed Herbert as battalion commander because he was "a keg of dynamite" who was "completely oriented to killing mercilessly."

        The Army dismissed the charges against Barnes and Franklin, and removed Herbert's negative performance review.

        Nevertheless, Herbert continued to accuse military leaders of a coverup. The Army responded by releasing "fact sheets" that said the investigation had substantiated only seven of 21 allegations by Herbert and had found no evidence that his superiors knew about them or retaliated against him.

        In February 1972, Army magazine said that Herbert's "eminence is undeserved" and devoted six pages to the fact sheets.

        Herbert retired from the Army, citing harassment and strain on his family.

        In January 1973, his memoir, "Soldier," hit the bookstores, and the Army's public information office scoured its pages for inconsistencies, records show.

        Around the same time, the Army leaked internal reports on Herbert to CBS News, according to an Army memorandum. The TV news magazine "60 Minutes" aired a segment on Feb. 4, 1973, that attacked Herbert's claims of coverup and retaliation.

        Unknown to the public, Army investigators probing Herbert's charges had learned that abuse of detainees by soldiers of the 173rd Airborne was much more extensive than he had alleged.

        When contacted recently at his home in Colorado, Herbert declined to be quoted about the Army investigation, except to say: "If they'd really taken action about the bad apples and been honest about it and then they wouldn't be arguing about Abu Ghraib and different places today."

        Comment


        • #5
          continued.....

          The problem centered on the brigade's 172nd Military Intelligence Detachment, known as the 172nd MI. Reports that interrogators in the unit were torturing prisoners had begun to surface several years before Herbert first made his allegations.

          Among the first to speak out was Peter N. Martinsen, an interrogator from another unit who had worked with members of the 172nd MI. Testifying at the International War Crimes Tribunal, an unofficial forum in Stockholm, in 1967, Martinsen said he had taken part in beatings, and witnessed the use of field telephones to shock prisoners.

          Army investigators interviewed him in November 1968. He requested immunity, but the Army's office of the judge advocate general rejected the request, citing "the general nature of the allegation, Mr. Martinsen's attitude and his record," documents show.

          Martinsen refused to give a statement. Efforts to reach him for comment for this article were unsuccessful. Investigators marked his allegations "unsubstantiated" and closed their inquiry.

          At the time of Martinsen's interview, Robert Stemme Jr. was serving in the 172nd MI's counterintelligence section. His job was to gather information about the enemy from friendly local sources, such as hamlet officials.

          He did not conduct interrogations, he said in a recent interview, but he heard and saw them. Interrogations were conducted around the clock in a building about 10 yards from the tent where he slept, he said.

          "My bed was maybe 30 feet from where all this stuff was going on. So I could hear this and all night long," Stemme told The Times. "It was pretty standard practice that people got slapped around or hit with things, or guns pointed at them, or whatever. Field telephones - all those things - were tools of the trade."

          The telephones had hand cranks that could be turned to generate electricity and two wires that could be attached to sensitive parts of a prisoner's body. The shock could be intensified by wetting detainees and placing them in contact with metal objects.

          In the spring of 1969, about a dozen members of the 172nd MI organized a letter-writing campaign to complain to higher-ups about the abuse, Stemme said. "Next thing we know, we have this major coming up from IG's office who is Miranda-izing us and asks us if we're admitting to committing war crimes," Stemme said, referring to the inspector general. "It was all about us, when this was de facto command policy. It was really scary."

          They decided as a group not to give any statements, he said.

          Stemme returned to the United States in June 1969, and left the service in 1970. In April of that year, he spoke out about prisoner abuse at a news conference at the Greater Los Angeles Press Club.

          Martinsen and Frederick Brown, another former interrogator with the 172nd MI, joined him. Army investigators contacted Stemme and Brown that summer. Brown told them that he and others "participated in water-rag and field telephone interrogations of detainees," according to an investigator's summary. Brown, who lives in Orange County, declined to be interviewed for this article.

          Stemme met with Army agents in San Francisco. According to an agent's statement, Stemme described abuse of detainees by 11 members of his unit over 12 months beginning in June 1968.

          Under oath, Stemme said he saw interrogators punch and kick prisoners, beat them with sticks, administer electrical shocks and urinate on them.

          Records show that Stemme detailed specific instances of maltreatment, offering names and approximate dates. Yet a case summary produced by the Army chief of staff's office reported that investigators closed the investigation because Stemme "declined to provide any specific information concerning his allegations."

          "I spent hours with these guys," said Stemme, now 63 and retired from his job as an investigator for the San Francisco public defender's office. "There was no reason for me to be reticent."

          Stemme identified former Staff Sgt. David Carmon as one of the interrogators who had tortured detainees. Herbert also accused Carmon of subjecting a detainee to water torture. Herbert said he found Carmon involved in the torture of a Vietnamese man, pouring water onto a rag placed over the captive's nose and mouth.

          This technique, called the "water rag," causes a drowning sensation and is banned under international law. Bush administration officials have come under pressure in recent years to explicitly denounce a similar method known as "water-boarding" as an interrogation technique. In May, a Pentagon official told the United Nations Committee Against Torture that the revised Army Field Manual now specifically prohibited water-boarding. On Friday, a spokesman said the U.S. Army did not permit water-boarding - in past wars or as part of today's intelligence-gathering procedures.

          When investigators questioned Carmon in December 1970, he admitted using the water rag on a detainee, records show. "I held the suspect down, placed a cloth over his face and then poured water over the cloth, thus forcing water into his mouth. The suspect, after becoming choked on the water, confessed that he was a VC and stated he was a propaganda man," Carmon said, according to his sworn statement.

          He admitted using electrical shock on detainees, the investigators' summary states. Carmon also told investigators that in the fall of 1968, he took part in interrogating a captive who died soon afterward.

          The man had been "beat and kicked," lost consciousness and suffered convulsions, according to summaries of statements given by members of the 172nd MI. A doctor was brought in to examine the detainee, identified as Nguyen Cong, and said there was nothing wrong with him, the records say.

          Carmon said he and another member of the military intelligence team "slapped the Vietnamese and poured water on his face from a five-gallon can," according to the investigators' summary Nguyen passed out "and was carried to the confinement cage where he was later found dead," according to a May 1971 Army report. The investigators' summary said the cause of death was listed in a hospital log as a ruptured spleen, probably due to malaria.

          In a 1973 memo to Army Chief of Staff Abrams, Tufts said "maltreatment was not established as the cause of death."

          Reached by e-mail in Ohio, Carmon told The Times that abuse of prisoners was widespread in Vietnam and was encouraged by officers.

          "Nothing was sanctioned," he wrote, "but nothing was off-limits short of seriously injuring a prisoner." In another e-mail, he described the electric shock technique:

          "What I saw were leads hooked to the legs of a metal folding chair. It was primarily used with the mountain/country detainees that weren't familiar with electricity. They would [tell] them it would make them sterile or something to that nature. When you turned the phone crank, a light tickle of electricity would generally scare them into talking."

          He added: "I am not ashamed of anything I did, and I would most likely conduct myself in the same manner if placed in a Vietnam-type situation again."

          Investigators contacted 31 members of the 172nd MI before submitting a report to headquarters that detailed a pattern of "cruelty and maltreatment" from March 1968 to October 1969.

          The report said the evidence warranted formal charges against 22 interrogators, some on active duty at the time. It concluded not only that interrogators repeatedly abused prisoners, but that the unit's executive officer, Capt. Norman L. Bowers, had been present during some of the torture incidents.

          Yet none of the interrogators nor Bowers was punished, records show.

          The three soldiers who were disciplined for mistreating detainees served in other units of the 173rd Airborne. In an interview with The Times, Bowers said he had not witnessed or approved abuse of prisoners, contrary to what his subordinates said.

          "It could likely happen, and I wasn't told about it," he said. "Mistreatment of prisoners is a very serious issue, and it's not something someone's going to bring to my attention."

          Bowers, now 67 and living in Missouri, said the men may have falsely accused him in hopes of getting him removed because they were working long hours. "There was a lot of stress on people," he said.

          J. Ross Franklin, one of the two superiors whom Herbert accused of covering up war crimes, was deputy commander of the 173rd Airborne from December 1968 to June 1969. In a recent interview, he said that he was not aware of the investigators' findings, and that no one had ever reported prisoner abuse to him. "I didn't even know what water-boarding was," said Franklin, now 78 and living in Florida.

          He said he did not recall the letter-writing campaign or the nighttime beatings that Stemme described. He said he was housed in an officers' area, in a structure with air-conditioning. "I really wouldn't hear much of anything, other than friendly 'arty' shooting once in a while," he said, referring to artillery.

          He added: "Interrogators obviously are under pressure and encouraged to get information, and some of these guys are sadistic at heart. I wouldn't bet my soul that it didn't happen in the 173rd. If the Army found it, I'd say it probably happened."

          A tortured past

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