Pauline Manley; Bondi Junction; 19/7/09
The horror! Australian soldiers drag corpses through a village as traumatised children look on (“Phantom force secrets”, The Sun-Herald, July 12). So we are the good guys, are we? The whistleblower, Don Tate, wants the truth to come out, not to serve justice but to ensure his mates get pensions. Against a majestic vista, head held high, medals shiny on his chest, he matter-of-factly states that “there are no bodies left to find”. That is because the bodies not attached to bumper bars were blown up. Recently, Mark Latham was universally castigated for daring to insult the armed forces. I’m with you, Mark. On Anzac Day I remember the conscientious objectors: those people who will not kill without absolute need. The Vietnam War was a travesty and yet we marched into Iraq. Some of those stories have already emerged: torture, sexual humiliation, wanton destruction of resources, reckless mutilation of children. This is not OK. It is not sufficient to say you were following orders. To stop war, people need to stop joining the military, stop invading sovereign states and stop making excuses. I do not want to pay your mates’ pensions, Mr Tate.
See: The Sun Herald, Letters; No Internet Text
Phantom force secrets
Matthew Benns; 12/7/09
Australians soldiers dragged corpses behind armoured cars in a Vietnam war atrocity that officials have spent 40 years denying ever happened. Now a request by the Vietnamese Government to locate the bodies of Vietcong soldiers killed in action may finally uncover the truth of what happened in the villages of Thua Thich and Xuyen Moc in May, 1969. Don Tate, now 60, was a member of the 2nd D and E platoon when the atrocities were committed. “Mate, this has been a bullshit cover-up for 40 years and it is now finally coming into the open,” he said. “They will never find the graves because there aren’t any.”