By Robert A. Vella
This story must be seen to be believed. A new Frontline documentary reveals a reign of terror against journalists and informants in America, including numerous assassinations, committed by nationalist military personnel of the former Republic of Vietnam (a.k.a. South Vietnam) in the decades following the Vietnam War.
From PBS – Inside the Making of “Terror in Little Saigon”:
Thirty years ago, a former naval officer for the South Vietnamese Navy tried to restart the Vietnam War with a guerrilla army based in a Thailand jungle. He rallied support and raised money for those efforts in America. Eventually, his group would be linked to an alleged death squad on U.S. soil that silenced journalists who either were critical of its mission, or voiced pro-communist views.
It might sound like the stuff of Cold War fiction. But when A.C. Thompson and Richard Rowley began looking into the unsolved 1981-1990 murders of five Vietnamese-American journalists in cities across the U.S., it’s exactly the scenario that began to emerge.
Thompson, a George Polk Award-winning ProPublica reporter and FRONTLINE correspondent (Life and Death in Assisted Living, Law & Disorder), and Rowley, an Oscar-nominated documentary film director (Dirty Wars, Zapatista), spent the past two years digging into the long-forgotten murders of Le Triet and Do Trong Nhan in Virginia; Pham Van Tap in Garden Grove, Calif.; Nguyen Dam Phong in Houston; and Duong Trong Lam in San Francisco.
Watch the one hour video: Terror in Little Saigon
The journalists reported in the video that the FBI, Houston police, and San Francisco police, whom had investigated the murders, refused to comment or be interviewed for this documentary. Also, Freedom of Information requests and anecdotal information suggest that these Vietnamese nationalists had received support and assistance from the U.S. government.