Shameful operations like this leave those seeking to liberate people oppressed by authoritarian regimes little choice but to turn to taxpayer-financed interventions for relief of those conditions.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
Soldier of Fortune Mag Slams Arrest of ‘Freedom Fighters’
Soldier of Fortune magazine has run a blistering editorial attacking a government sting operation that ensnared a group plotting to overthrow the communist government in Laos.
“One of the most egregious miscarriages of justice we have seen was initiated on 4 June 2007, when 200 law enforcement agents swooped down on a group of Laotian freedom fighters led by 77-year-old General Vang Pao and arrested them for violating the Neutrality Act,” the article by Lt. Col. Robert K. Brown (Ret.) begins.
“They had plotted to overthrow the murderous communist government in Laos from which they had fled when the U.S. sold out the anti-communist forces in Southeast Asia in 1975. Their noble objective was to free their oppressed people.”
Vang Pao played a key role in fighting for U.S. interests in Laos from l962 to 1975, and tens of thousands of his fellow Hmong tribesmen were killed.
The sting operation carried out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms — code-named Operation Tarnished Eagle — “consisted of the lead ATF snitch, allegedly a 10-year SEAL veteran, sucking Vang Pao and his accomplices, including an obviously either not too bright or extremely naïve retired U.S. Army officer, into believing he would provide them with Stinger missiles, small arms and ammo,” the magazine disclosed.
“The weapons would then be transported to safe houses in Thailand and Laos.
“The ATF snitch sweetened the pot by promising to provide a 25-man group of former Special Forces troopers who were now mercenaries…
“If the ATF had any ethics or principles, they would have taken Vang Pao aside when they first got involved in this plot and informed him, ‘General, we know you have the best interests of your countrymen at heart, that you wish to overthrow a communist dictatorship. But you can’t do it from the U.S. You will be violating the Neutrality Act and if you continue, we will put you in jail.’”
Instead, federal authorities in California indicted Vang Pao and eight others.
The editorial continues: “As Richard Lloyd Parry, Asia Editor for the [London] Times, noted: ‘U.S. authorities find themselves in the ironic position of leaping to the defense of an authoritarian regime they spent 13 years and many lives trying to destroy.’”