P.O.W.S: Tarnished Homecoming

The Nixon Administration wanted nothing to mar the triumphant return of the U.S. prisoners of war from Viet Nam. Melvin R. Laird, then Secretary of Defense, declared that no returned P.O.W. would be prosecuted for propaganda statements made under the duress of captivity. The Pentagon discouraged former prisoners from bringing misconduct charges against one another. But along with the red-carpet welcomes, free visits to Walt Disney World and dinner on the White House lawn, some bitter recriminations began to emerge. In two separate cases, an Air Force colonel and an admiral, both...

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