With the release of the findings by the Korean Truth & Reconciliation Commission that I posted on yesterday the lead No Gun Ri AP sensationalist Charles Hanley has written his own article on the findings. The article offers nothing new and is just an opportunity for Hanley to repeat his usual exaggerations such as this:
The commission was the first government authority to publicly confirm what long had only been whispered: The U.S.-allied South Korean military and police carried out a vast secretive slaughter of political detainees in mid-1950, to keep southern sympathizers from supporting the northerners. [Associated Press]
As I pointed out in my prior posting on this topic, the subject of political killings by the Rhee Syngman government is nothing new and well known. Hanley is simply playing his old game of making old news, new again. It has been well known for years that the ROK Army was responsible for executing thousands of political prisoners before and during the war. Of course the truth isn’t as simple as the South Korean government lining up and killing hapless political prisoners. In fact before the Korean War even started, South Korea was faced with a North Korean backed communist insurgency. The South Korean government led by autocratic President Syngman Rhee allowed the ROK military to brutally suppress the insurgency, which led to a number of communist guerrillas and civilians being killed. With the intermingling of guerrillas and civilians it is impossible to determine the real number of each that were killed.
To show how absurd Hanley’s claims of uncovering these exuections is I have a DVD of the execution of suspected communists and I didn’t even need to sift through declassified or formerly secret documents to find it like Hanley often claims he had to do.
In South Korea the tragedy of the communist guerrilla war has been well known for years with the publication of Cho Jeong-lae’s groundbreaking book “Taebaek Sanmaek” that in great detail describes the effects of the guerrilla war and the follow on Korean War on the civilians who lived in the small South Korean village of Beolgyo. The battle of ideology led to many indiscriminate killings by both the ROK government as well as by the communists. Cho’s book was eventually made into in my opinion the best Korean film ever made, “Taebaek Mountains” in 1994 starring Ahn Sung-kee and directed by award winning director Im Kwon-taek. Follow on Korean movies such as “Taeguki” clearly show how suspected South Korean communist sympathizers were executed by the ROK government. In other words, once again what Hanley claims to be “whispers” is in fact nothing new.
Here is another often repeated myth from Hanley in the article:
Declassified U.S. documents uncovered over the past decade do, indeed, show commanders issuing blanket orders to shoot civilians during that period.
Hanley often makes the claim about blanket orders to kill civilians, but of course never provides any context about the so called orders he is referring to. Once the documents are actually read a far different story than the one Hanley promotes is revealed. For proper context make sure to read my posting on the No Gun Ri Document Shell Game.
With the work of the Korean Truth & Reconciliation Commission complete I wonder if this will be the last we hear from Charles Hanley about all of this. I doubt it since his latest efforts to advance global warming alarmism has not gone too well.