Army Knew Of Letter On Shooting Refugees




 
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Army Knew Of Letter On Shooting Refugees
 
April 14th, 2007  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Army Knew Of Letter On Shooting Refugees


Army Knew Of Letter On Shooting Refugees
Washington Post
April 14, 2007
Pg. 16

Korean War Document Was Omitted From Report on No Gun Ri
By Charles J. Hanley and Martha Mendoza, Associated Press
Six years after declaring the U.S. killing of Korean War refugees at No Gun Ri was "not deliberate," the Army has acknowledged that it found but did not divulge that a high-level document said the U.S. military had a policy of shooting approaching civilians in South Korea.
The document, a letter from the U.S. ambassador in South Korea to the State Department in Washington, is dated the day in 1950 when U.S. troops began the No Gun Ri shootings, in which survivors say hundreds, mostly women and children, were killed.
Exclusion of the letter from the Army's 2001 investigative report is the most significant among numerous omissions of documents and testimony pointing to a policy of firing on refugees out of concern that North Korean soldiers were using them as cover. The undisclosed evidence was uncovered by Associated Press research in archives and Freedom of Information Act requests.
South Korean petitioners say hundreds more died later in 1950 as a result of the U.S. practice. The Seoul government is investigating one such large-scale killing, of refugees on a beach, newly confirmed by documents in U.S. archives.
No Gun Ri survivors, who call the Army's 2001 investigation a "whitewash," are demanding a reopened investigation, compensation and a U.S. apology.
Harvard historian Sahr Conway-Lanz first disclosed the existence of Ambassador John J. Muccio's 1950 letter in a scholarly article and a 2006 book, "Collateral Damage." He uncovered the declassified document at the U.S. National Archives.
"If refugees do appear from north of U.S. lines they will receive warning shots, and if they then persist in advancing they will be shot," the ambassador told Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk, cautioning that these shootings might cause "repercussions in the United States." Deliberately attacking noncombatants is a war crime.
No Gun Ri survivors said U.S. soldiers first forced them from nearby villages on July 25, 1950, and then stopped them in front of U.S. lines the next day, when they were attacked without warning by aircraft as hundreds sat atop a railroad embankment near No Gun Ri, a village in central South Korea. Troops of the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment followed with ground fire as survivors took shelter in twin underpasses of a concrete railroad bridge.
Another incident, on Sept. 1, 1950, has been confirmed by the declassified official diary of the USS DeHaven, which says that the Navy destroyer, at Army insistence, fired on a seaside refugee encampment at Pohang, South Korea. Survivors say 100 to 200 people were killed. South Korean officials announced in February they would investigate.
More than a dozen documents -- in which high-ranking U.S. officers tell troops that refugees are "fair game," for example, and order them to "shoot all refugees coming across river" -- were found by the AP in the investigators' own archived files after the 2001 inquiry. None of those documents was disclosed in the Army's 300-page public report.
 


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