The true story is that the scum bag being summarily executed was a high level Viet Cong operative who organized and was a leader of the Tet Offensive in the City of Hue.
The Viet Cong devastated Hue and murdered a large fraction of the population.
The scum bag being executed had personally rounded up the families of dozens of South Vietnamese leaders and executed the entire families - men, women and children.
He was a terrorist caught engaging in acts of terror wearing civilian clothing and no uniform
By the Geneva Convention he was an enemy combatant caught engaged in acts of terror and war crimes in the heat of battle and subject to a lawful summary execution which he richly deserved.
Lém was captured near a mass grave with 34 civilian bodies. Lém admitted that he was proud to carry out his unit leader's order to kill these people. Having personally witnessed the murder of one of his officers along with that man's wife and three small children in cold blood, when Lém was captured and brought to him, General Loan summarily executed him using his sidearm,...
He needed killin'.
The AP guy who took the photo - a former Marine - related that the guy taking the bullet had just killed a police official along with his entire family. The fella doing the shooting was that police official's boss.
In 1969, Adams was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for the shot.What's unfortunate is that blights on humanity like Young and Holtzman managed to outlive good men like Loan and Adams.
But he felt terrible about the photo, which he didnt think was that good, and bitter about the prize, according to interviews he gave over the years.
He believed he had taken far more worthy pictures, and that the execution photo was viewed out of context by most people: The slain Viet Cong prisoner was captured after he reportedly killed a South Vietnamese officer, his wife and six children.
Adams believed he had destroyed Loans life.
Two people died in that photograph, Adams wrote in Time magazine years later. The recipient of the bullet and General Nguyen Ngoc Loan. The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera.
General Loan was a real warrior, Adams wrote in a Time eulogy for Loan. Im not saying what he did was right, but you have to put yourself in his position . He never blamed me. He told me if I hadnt taken the picture, someone else would have, but Ive felt bad for him and his family for a long time.
Loan, who later lost a leg in combat, was treated for the injury at Washingtons old Walter Reed Army Hospital in 1969, which outraged some people. Then-Sen. Stephen M. Young (D-Ohio) called Loan a brutal murderer and said his treatment in the United States was a disgraceful end to a disgraceful episode.
Loan was university-educated and had become a jet pilot before he was named national police chief. He was married and had five children. After the war, he made his way with his family to the United States and ran a restaurant in Northern Virginia. But the photograph stalked him. In the restaurant mens room, someone scrawled on the wall: We know who you are, you f
In 1976, he told a Washington Post reporter he was trying to think about the present and the future of my children. I have no time to think back or regrets.
In 1978, the government moved to deport him. Gen. Loan cold-bloodedly shot and killed another human being, Rep Elizabeth Holtzman (D-N.Y.) wrote at the time. By any standard what he did was immoral.
But Loan had local support and was never deported. Twenty years later, on July 14, 1998, he died at home in Burke, Va., at the age of 67.