Skip to comments.Hijacked Honor ("The Wall Within" 1988 CBS/Dan Rather fraudulent documentary on vets)
Posted on 09/11/2004 1:28:55 PM PDT by idkfa
Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of its Heroes and its History, by B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley, Dallas, TX: Verity Press, 1998, 692 pages, hardback
One of the most ingrained stereotypes that plague the 3.3 million Americans who served in Vietnam is the tainted image of the Vietnam vet as scruffy, jobless, homeless, mentally unstable, addicted, suicidal, and stranded on the fringes of society. It is an image that has been reinforced by innumerable TV dramas, movies, and newscasts. It is also usually tied to stories about the horrors of war, atrocities, and other dark deeds that, allegedly, have caused these personal problems for the tragic vet.
The highly hyped 1988 CBS program, "The Wall Within," purporting to tackle the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is a perfect example of the lies and distortions about Vietnam that have been fed to three generations of Americans. The program profiled six pathetic victims who it claimed were "representative" of those who served in Vietnam. It claimed that the symptoms suffered by these men were shared by hundreds of thousands of other veterans. The Dan Rather "documentary" became part of the CBS video history series on Vietnam and is graced with a formal introduction by liberal-left one-worlder Walter Cronkite.
This is how Dan Rather introduced his TV audience to one of his prize victims: "At age 16, Steve was a Navy SEAL, trained to assassinate. For almost two years, he operated behind enemy lines, then he broke. He came home in a straightjacket, addicted to alcohol and drugs."
According to the CBS propaganda piece, "Steve" had been trained to massacre and mutilate Vietnamese civilians and then blame the atrocities on the Communists. "Youre telling me that you went into the village, killed people, burned part of the village, then made it appear that the other side had done this?" Rather asked. "Yeah," Steve responded. "For propaganda purposes at home," Rather added. "Thats correct," Steve confirmed.
Terry Bradley, another supposed Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD, told a grisly tale of having, on one occasion, skinned alive up to 50 Vietnamese men, women and children. He told of cutting out hearts and eyeballs, of mangling and stacking their bloody bodies. The CBS program showed the mentally tormented vet at night in a dark forest howling at the sky.
Another PTSD victim, George Greul, told the CBS team that he had been traumatized by witnessing his friends gruesome death on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier while the ship was on a "secret mission" off the coast of Vietnam. He had seen his buddy accidentally walk into a spinning propeller blade and had been spattered with his blood.
The critically acclaimed "Wall Within" was a colossal fraud. The man identified as "Steve" turned out to be one Steve Southards, and through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Burkett obtained his military records. The truth, he found, was that "Southards was not a SEAL, nor had he taken any SEAL training.... In reality, Southards was an internal communications repairman, assigned to rear area bases and had no combat decorations. His only special training was a motion picture operation course (16mm), at Subic Bay in the Philippines." Whats more, he had spent time in the brig for going AWOL six times. According to Burketts research, "Little that Southards had told Rather was true except that he had been in the Navy, and that his first name was Steve."
Terry Bradley was not a "fighting sergeant," as Dan Rather had described him, but another storytelling misfit who had spent 300 days either AWOL or in the stockade. No evidence was provided by CBS, and Burkett could find none either, from official sources or otherwise, to verify Bradleys tales of mass atrocities.
George Greuls carrier, the Ticonderoga, was deployed on a training mission off the coast of California, not a "secret mission" off the coast of Vietnam, when the fatal propeller accident he referred to took place. But Greul was not present when the accident happened; he was merely repeating what he had heard. However, his story had convinced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that he had been sufficiently traumatized to receive a couple thousand dollars a month in compensation.
"the 3.3 million Americans who served in Vietnam is the tainted image of the Vietnam vet as scruffy, jobless, homeless, mentally unstable, addicted, suicidal, and stranded on the fringes of society. It is an image that has been reinforced by innumerable TV dramas, movies, and newscasts."
A study in the 1990s showed that the VietNam veteran was more likely to be employed, happy, stable and successful...than those who did not serve.
I will try to get a citation.
I think he was referring to John Kerry.
I see Dan did alot of exhaustive research on this story, as well.
Youngsters...... Make no mistake about this.... this is your war.... and these basterds did it to me and mine 30 yrs ago..... do you want the same outcome ..... well then get every body up and running monday morning .... pick rather .... take him out .... i have out lined how in other posts..... make no mistake ..... this is about the soul of this country.....
Use Kerry's plan....just frag yourself.
Dan Rather should be shamed off the air
The Rightwing Partisan Media should trumpet this story high and loud.
It would be doubly sweet if Kerry's failed candidacy brought enough notice to the old myths, in the age of a more aggressive, skeptical new media, to smash them forever.
Look for Rathers name in the index of the book "Stolen Valor" and read about his own military "service". He was medically unfit to serve in the Marine Corps in 1954 and he's been mentally unfit to serve as a reporter since the day he was born.
16 yearold SEAL???WTF,there's gullible,and then there's COMPLICIT.
I googled "the wall within" and this is what a vets site linked to after a short reference to the Rather program..This exhaustive article's author died in Iraq covering the war...He was a great loss to journalism in America.
The principal difference between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.
- Mark Twain
The MSM has been making up stories about Vietnam and Vietnam vets!!! I'm shocked!!
Yes. I understand. I'm shocked too.
(Btw, you forgot to add the proper tag to the post)
My thought exactly. This killer must have gone straight from Wueblo to SEAL.
Oops, I was in a hurry?
Someone should post Dan Rather's photo which is on page 336 of "Stolen Valor." The photo would make a good mug shot if Rather were arrested for his involvment in "memogate."
Rather continues now with "memogate", his pattern of spreading lies and false information about men who served in our military honorably.
I have read Mr. Burkett's book and it is a great resource to counter all of the phony veterans that the media allways drag out to claim that they were baby killers.
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