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Code-Name Bright Light: The Untold Story of U.S. POW Rescue Efforts During the Vietnam War Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1998
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Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
There has been the nasty suspicion lingering for years that the U.S. government decided that the math didn't quite work out and so left our POWs in Southeast Asia to meet their fates alone. Congressional hearings have been held, various recovery missions have been launched, and a cottage industry in conspiracy theory has sprung up in the decades since Operation Homecoming in 1973.
George Veith blows the lid off much of the secrecy surrounding U.S. efforts to recover POWs in Vietnam and thus evaporates much of the conspiracy theories with "Codename: Bright Light." Despite assertions to the contrary, U.S. special forces made substantial and repeated efforts to free POWs during the war. The main obstacles to repatriation were: the constant relocation of prisoners, the intransigence of the North Vietnamese and their American supporters, the failure of intelligence on POW matters, bureaucratic snafus, and the extremely difficult terrain and climate which made escape a dicey proposition at best. As a result, the Bright Light operation failed to rescue a single American POW during its entire course.
Despite these failures, the men supporting Bright Light gave their all to bring our men home and had a substantive impact upon repatriation. Yet most of the surviving members of these teams believe to this day that men were left behind---specifically, those captured in Laos, none of whom returned at Homecoming.Read more ›
In a six year period, more than 125 rescue operations would be launched to recover U.S. prisoners of war. Attempts to retrieve U.S. servicemen would also be tried by ransoms and prisoner exchanges. The latter methods were minimally successful at best due to the dismal cooperation from the North Vietnamese government and their unwillingness to recognize humanitarian overtures. The actual rescue attempts themselves were outstanding examples of bravery, courage, and audacity in the most harrowing of situation but were also mired in endless problems.
Rescue teams would suffer the indignity of inter-service rivalries and competition, mediocre intelligence information, numerous bureaucratic breakdowns, compromised missions, and bad luck in many cases. Much of this would lead to slow response times to initiate raids on POW compounds which in turn produced many near misses when trying to extricate POW's. On countless occasions, rescue personnel would assault POW camps only to find that prisoners and camp cadre had relocated to new areas only hours before. Although some missions conducted were successful, they would also be bittersweet at the same time. The JPRC teams, during their tenure in Vietnam, were able to rescue hundreds of South Vietnamese POW's but were unsuccessful in ever freeing any living Americans held in confinement.
Leaving no stone unturned, geographically speaking, George J.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gives me some additional insight into Bright Light. I wish there had been a little less focus on Politics of War and more about the mission.Published 14 months ago by Randy Solvang
Very different from other war nonfiction that I've read. It is certainly an eye-opener.Published on July 14, 2014 by Huckleberry Heart
I bought this book because one of the guys on the mission is my friend's dad. She told me about her dad and this book so I ordered it. Read morePublished on July 7, 2014 by Matt
This is a must read for any student of the Viet Nam War. Carefully researched and documented, this book recounts the many efforts to recover Americans who were captured and held... Read morePublished on May 13, 2014 by Charles L. Byler
hard to keep mty attention as it did not deal with a particular event in which the U.S. tried to free the prisoners.Published on January 28, 2014 by james desjardins
Great service! Great Book! I am glad I read it. Every American should read this text after An Enormous Crime..Published on October 28, 2013 by John Pat Bourassa
I really enjoyed this book about the POW/MIA issue of SE Asia. It tackles a complex issue in an intelligent and thoughtful way. Read morePublished on October 27, 2013 by Sgt. Rock