Terror in Little Saigon: Unknown stories about Viet Tan and US press freedom

04/11/2015


These days, Vietnamese people, inside or outside the country, pro or anti the Vietnam’s current government, even American people who love peace and freedom, all have been shocked by an episode of Frontline, a public affairs television program that produces and broadcasts in-depth documentaries about various subjects, produced at WGBH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts and distributed through the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the United States, the program has been critically acclaimed and received numerous awards.
The television documentary “Terror in Little Saigon”, broadcasted on 3rd November, tell the story of a reign of intimidation and murder for which no one has been held to  account. It is about numerous murders carried by a secret wicked group of Vietnam Reform Party or Viet Tan in short as we all know.
The documentary video has exposed true face of Viet Tan, an reactionary organizations which has held many activities against the Party and State of Vietnam and has been considered as a terrorist group by the Vietnam’s State.
Viet Tan is a network of members that always claims their aims are to establish democracy and reform Vietnam through peaceful and political means. But by this video, we see the opposite, the true nature of a anti-government terrorist group.
The video tells about murders of Vietnamese journalists from 1981 to 1990 who wrote against Viet Tan and their activities of waging a new war in Vietnam. The journalists were assassinated on American soil, one after another.
Duong Trong Lam was the first. He was 27 years old and ran a Vietnamese-language publication called Cai Dinh Lang, which he mailed to immigrants around the country. A gunman found him as he walked out of his San Francisco apartment building one morning and shot him, a single bullet piercing his pulmonary artery, just above the heart.
For magazine publisher Pham Van Tap, the end came more slowly. He was sleeping in his small office in Garden Grove, California, when an arsonist set fire to the building. He was heard screaming before he succumbed to smoke inhalation.
In Houston, a killer chased Nguyen Dam Phong from his home in his pajamas and shot him seven times with a .45-caliber handgun. The murder marked the end of Dam Phong’s twice-monthly broadsheet newspaper, which he had named Tu Do: Freedom.
All together, five Vietnamese-American journalists were killed between 1981 and 1990. All worked for small publications serving the refugee population that sought shelter in the U.S. after the fall of Saigon in 1975.  At least two other people were murdered as well.
FBI agents came to believe that the journalists’ killings, along with an array of fire-bombings and beatings, were terrorist acts ordered by an organization called the National United Front for the Liberation of Vietnam, a prominent group led by former military commanders from South Vietnam who then founded and developed Viet Tan or the Front at that time. Agents theorized that the Front was intimidating or executing those who defied it, FBI documents show, and even sometimes those simply sympathetic to the victorious Communists in Vietnam. But the FBI never made a single arrest for the killings or terror crimes, and the case was formally closed two decades ago.
Violent attacks on journalists often function as a brutal form of censorship, and as a result often stir public mourning and outrage. In the months after Arizona reporter Don Bolles was murdered in 1976, a group of nearly 40 reporters from around the country dedicated themselves to continuing his reporting on organized crime and making a statement about freedom of expression. Suspects in the murder were ultimately identified and convicted. The mass slaying of staffers at the French weekly Charlie Hebdo sparked vigils and protests around the world.
Last year, when fighters from the Islamic State Group executed war correspondent James Foley, President Obama praised him as a man “who courageously told the stories of his fellow human beings,” and promised to hunt his killers.
“Our reach is long,” Obama said. “We are patient. Justice will be done.”
The families of the murdered Vietnamese-American journalists long ago gave up hope of seeing justice done. They remain disappointed and confused. They expected more of the government they had adopted as their own, excited by its promise of liberty and convinced of its fearlessness in seeking the truth.
Early in 2014, ProPublica and Frontline reopened the investigation. They obtained thousands of pages of newly declassified FBI documents, as well as CIA cables and immigration files. They uncovered additional leads and witnesses not previously interviewed by either the FBI or local authorities -- including former members of the Front who told them the group had operated a secret assassination unit in the U.S. It was a tip the FBI had chased for years but had never conclusively proved.
The Front openly raised money in America to restart the Vietnam War, even launching three failed invasions from the borders of Thailand and Laos. Their reporting shows that officials at the State Department, the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency and the FBI knew about the Front’s military operations in Southeast Asia. But federal authorities never acted to enforce the Neutrality Act, which bars residents and citizens of this country from efforts to overthrow a foreign government.
In Pearland, Texas, outside of Houston, there is a cemetery ringed by tall pine and oak trees. Near the back of the graveyard, close to a muddy stream, lies the headstone of Nguyen Dam Phong. Grass has crept over the small, rectangular marker. A single dead rose, withered and black, stands in a metal vase.
But the words chiseled into the marble some 33 years ago are still legible: Killed in pursuit of truth and justice through journalism. Now, you could decide for yourself: Is Viet Tan a terrorist organization?
And, so, that is democracy, that is freedom of press which America always speak out loud, now we can see how they are actually. So painful!  
You can watch the video here:
Official link from Frontline: http://stories.frontline.org/terror-in-little-saigon-
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All comments [ 10 ]


Funny Day 6/11/15 05:26

it's unacceptable. the stories proved that Viet Tan is a terrorist organization

Williams Melanie 6/11/15 05:35

Viet Tan always propaganda that it struggles for democracy, human rights through peaceful and political means, so it carried out many murders of Vietnamese journalists who wrote against it

Davis Caroline 6/11/15 05:38

now we have known the true face of Viet Tan. It is not kind as we think

Anthony Jones 6/11/15 05:44

perhap, those who have supported this terrorist organization will be frustrated and ashamed when knowing the stories

Thompson Catherine 6/11/15 05:47

the US must stricly punish the perpetrators who killed innocent people

Elizabeth Green 6/11/15 05:52

I really felt shocked and not think Vietnam Reform Party is so bad

Jack Walker 6/11/15 05:56

why has no member of Viet Tan who commited crimes been held to account and punished so far?

Dennis White 6/11/15 06:00

You should remember that Viet Tan is secretly supported by the US

erica black 6/11/15 06:03

that's so right. The US allows and support Vietnam Reform Party conducting activities against the State of Vietnam on American soil

Evans David 6/11/15 06:06

It means that the US supports terrorist? should abolish it

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